How shall we expel a new birth? My age
Tells against me in a speech not my own
But familiar. Face raddled with rouge
Cast me as Quentin Crisp not as Timon;
A tenured special adviser to life.
Could have wished confirmation while all slept.
I would not curse to redefine belief,
Disfigure telling rhyme of the adept.
—Geoffrey Hill, from “Expostulations on the Volcano: 54”
Art Credit Henrik Samuelsson, 2008, technique mixte, 200 x 300 cm.