Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Books!

Today I was excited to order books by two of my favorite authors: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin, and the poet Geoffrey Hill's Without Title. The Tolkien book is the culmination of many years labor of meticulous editing by the late author's son Christopher, and is the first complete book to come along since The Silmarillion. It will be the last book by Tolkien, so it is worth savoring. I loved the Elvish tales of The Silmarillion, and this book is set during that First Age of Middle Earth. What made The Lord of the Rings Trilogy so deep and fascinating was the presence of a long history preceding it. This new book adds to that sad, but noble history.

The latest collection of poems by Geoffrey Hill promises to be another brilliant achievement by the finest poet writing in the English language. Hill is a deep, allusive poet, who rewards careful reading and rereading. I prefer his earlier work, to be honest, but anything that flows from his pen stands far above his peers. No other poet has articulated so well the struggle between faith and doubt, the ills of modernity, and the high cost of love. I have been reading his poems and essays since I found a collection of his early work, Somewhere Is Such a Kingdom, while I was in college. I strongly recommend him to you.


Post a Comment

<< Home