September Song

By Geoffrey Hill b. 1932 Geoffrey Hill

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.

Geoffrey Hill, “September Song” from New and Collected Poems, 1952-1992. Copyright © 1994 by Geoffrey Hill. Used with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: New and Collected Poems 1952-1992 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994)

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Poet Geoffrey Hill b. 1932


Subjects War & Conflict, Nature, Social Commentaries, Living, Fall, Death

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Geoffrey  Hill


Geoffrey Hill was born in Worcestershire, England in 1932. From a working-class family, Hill attended Oxford where his work was first published by the poet Donald Hall. These poems later collected in For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958 (1959) marked an astonishing debut. In dense poems of gnarled syntax and astonishing rhetorical power, Hill planted the seeds of style and concern that he has continued to cultivate over his long . . .

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SUBJECT War & Conflict, Nature, Social Commentaries, Living, Fall, Death


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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