The Orchards of Syon

Front Cover
Counterpoint, 2002 - Poetry - 72 pages
2 Reviews
This is the fourth and final installment in a series containing, most recently, Speech! Speech!, by Oxford-educated Hill, a prolific poet and professor of religion at Boston University. It is a wordplay cycle of 72 "image-conscious" stanzas in which each 24-line stanza depicts a journey through "threads of chaos." Although some dramatic personal stanzas have high impact, underneath the dazzling surface of this ascetic, anti-narrative poetry the path to "the Orchards of Syon" leads back to the familiar ground of Christian humanism. Like musical motifs in a somber self-dialog, allusions to Dante, Hopkins, and Peguy provide high-minded trail blazes to lead fallen humanity to "that dream which is called vision." Marvelous embellished imagery acts like a badge of martyrdom for the loss of divine presence in a world of "chain-story tawdry profiles." Pursuing elusive associations of "orchard," Hill argues that we lose contact with the signals of Western thought at our own peril. Despite "a radical otherness," Hill's poetry undertakes a difficult struggle "to make the last connection" with "time's continuities tearing us apart."

What people are saying - Write a review

The Orchards of Syon

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is the fourth and final installment in a series containing, most recently, Speech! Speech!, by Oxford-educated Hill, a prolific poet and professor of religion at Boston University. It is a ... Read full review

Review: The Orchards of Syon

User Review  - JD Murray - Goodreads

Ah, Geoffrey Hill, your reputation precedes you. Dense, theological, fearsomely difficult, ofttimes surpassing mortal comprehension- maybe a bit pretentious? But not always incomprehensible. It helps ... Read full review

About the author (2002)

Geofrey Hill was born in 1932, in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He is the author of five books of poetry, two volumes of literary criticism, and a stage version of Isben's poetic drama Brand. He teaches in the University Professors Program at Boston University. He currently resides in Brookline, Massachusetts

Bibliographic information