Friday, April 14, 2006

Geoffrey Hill on difficulty

Carl Phillips: What comes up often in reviews of your work is the idea of an overly intellectual bent; in recent reviews of The Triumph of Love, often the word difficult comes up. People mention that it's worth going through or it isn't worth going through.

Geoffrey Hill: Like a Victorian wedding night, yes. Let's take difficulty first. We are difficult. Human beings are difficult. We're difficult to ourselves, we're difficult to each other. And we are mysteries to ourselves, we are mysteries to each other. One encounters in any ordinary day far more real difficulty than one confronts in the most "intellectual" piece of work. Why is it believed that poetry, prose, painting, music should be less than we are?
From an interview with poet Geoffrey Hill
(Paris Review 154, Spring 2000)

comments: 1

Unknown said...

I've been reading your work almost daily for a couple weeks now, and I enjoy it, but I rarely have a comment. Your snapshots of academic prose and brief commentary are engaging, but not very discussion minded; however, I thought you'd like to know that you have a reader.