Cookies Policy
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Uncommon Equivocation in Geoffrey Hill

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

Abstract This essay considers Hill’s expression “common equivocation,” which he associates with Richard Hooker. The expression comes about as a response to Christopher Ricks’s admiration of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. In that late poem Ricks finds that Eliot has confidence in clichés, “in their generous common humanity.” Hill responds by asking Ricks to think about how this expression would fare within the field of Hooker’s “common equivocation.” But what is “common equivocation?” Is Hill guilty of it as a poet? Or does he practice something else? I argue that he practices “uncommon equivocation.” Hooker thought that equivocation is a consequence of original sin. Hill believes in original sin, and his poetry is about its effects. This is the root of Hill’s “difficulty.” Yet “difficulty” is not just the opposite of ease; it is also hindrance to action. Hill’s best poems are often difficult in both senses.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Virginia; The Australian Catholic University


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Create email alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Religion and the Arts — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation