How shall we expel a new birth? My ageTells against me in a speech not my ownBut familiar. Face raddled with rougeCast 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.

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.

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