Weighed & Weighted

A Treatise of Civil Power
Geoffrey Hill
Yale University Press, $16, 64 pp.

Geoffrey Hill’s new book takes its title from Milton’s Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes (1659), but it might just as well be called Recent Poems. Milton is a presence in the book, but only one of many: the summoned ghosts include Wyatt, Bacon, Surrey, Oliver Cromwell, Milton, Holbein, Handel, Edmund Burke, Blake, Brahms, Hopkins, John Cornford, Elias Canetti, Olivier Messiaen, Gabriel Marcel, and Gillian Rose. Hill assembles large...

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About the Author

Denis Donoghue holds the Henry James Chair in English and American Letters at New York University. His most recent book is Irish Essays (2011).