Thursday, September 25, 2008

Missing the puns

In Kirsch's chapter on Geoffrey Hill in The Modern Element: essays on Contemporary Poetry (2008), Langdon Hammer's point about puns (see below) is indeed clearly demonstrated.  Kirsch's reading of "Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings" refrains from commenting on a key repetition of the poem, "They lie; they lie" which underscores the intended pun.  Kirsch's interpretation seems deliberately first-degree, and avoids addressing the political commitment of the poem, probably because he does not find it to his liking.