Discovered my (belated) interest in Geoffrey Hill echoed in this month's Poetry. Five strong poems. A review by Brian Phillips. He closes with:

"If you have been in need of a reason to despair over the culture of poetry in America, here is one. In years to come contest winner after contest winner will be forgotten with their galleries of blurbs. And we will be the generation that neglected Geoffrey Hill, and our loss will be our embarrassment."

These lines from a stringent sequence ("A Precis or Memorandum of Civil Power") made me think of the recent Moussaoui trial:

Civil power now smuggles more retractions
than hitherto;
public apology ad libs its charter,
well-misjudged villainy gets compensated.
I still can't tell you what that power is.
The statute books
suffer us here and there to lift a voice,
judge calls prosecutor to brief account,
juries may be stubborn to work good
like a brave child
standing its ground knowing it's in the right.

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