Geoffrey Hill

Os tiranos sempre querem uma linguagem e uma literatura de fácil compreensão. 
A tirania exige a simplificação.

On Reading Crowds and Power


Cloven, we are incorporate, our wounds
simple but mysterious. We have
some wherewithal to bide our time on earth.
Endurance is fantastic; ambulances
battling at intersections, the city
intolerably en fête. My reflexes
are words themselves rather than standard
flexures of civil power. In all of this
Cassiopeia's a blessing
as is steady Orion beloved of poets.
Quotidian natures ours for the time being
I do not know
how we should be absolved or what is fate.

Fame is not fastidious about the lips 
which spread it. So long as there are mouths 
to reiterate the one name it does not 
matter whose they are. 
The fact that to the seeker after fame 
they are indistinguishable from each other 
and are all counted as equal shows that this 
passion has its origin in the experience 
of crowd manipulation. Names collect 
their own crowds. They are greedy, live their own 
separate lives, hardly at all connected 
with the real natures of the men who bear them. 

But hear this: that which is difficult 
preserves democracy; you pay respect 
to the intelligence of the citizen. 
Basics are not condescension. Some 
tyrants make great patrons. Let us observe 
this and pass on. Certain directives 
parody at your own risk. Tread lightly 
with personal dignity and public image. 
Safeguard the image of the common man.  

September Song
born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42

Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.

As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.

(I have made
an elegy for myself it
is true)

September fattens on vines. Roses
flake from the wall. The smoke
of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.

This is plenty. This is more than enough.