I was walking down in Kent when I got the news of Geoffrey Hill's death. I suppose it should not have come as a surprise - he was 84 years old - but it still felt like some kind of blow, as if a mighty oak had fallen, leaving a huge absence and a strange silence. He was surely 'England's greatest living poet' (who is now? A question best left for another day, or none.)
May he rest in peace, and his work endure as it deserves.
Offertorium: December 2002
For rain-sprigged yew trees, blockish as they guard
admonitory sparse berries, atrorubent
stone holt of darkness, no, of claustral light:
for late distortions lodged by first mistakes;
for all departing, as our selves, from time;
for random justice held with things half-known,
with restitution if things come to that.