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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yet, But, So, We, Our

Perhaps in homage to the seventeenth-century divines who reserved their most stinging remarks for their footnotes, Geoffrey Hill used a note to see off Philip Larkin in Style and Faith; and now in a note to an essay on Sidney Keyes in Tim Kendall’s Oxford Handbook of British & Irish War Poetry I see he’s at it again. ‘The speaking voice’, he writes, ‘has its own systems of betrayal, as is demonstrated by many poets from “Movement” to Mersey Sound.’ Footnote: ‘See e.g. Robert Conquest (ed.), New Lines (London: Macmillan, 1956), passim, uses of “yet”, “but”, “so”, “we”, “our”. See also The Mersey Sound, Penguin Modern Poets, 10 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983; 1st pub. 1967), passim.’

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