The Orchards of Syon echos with the theme ‘life is a dream’ but as Rowan Williams observes (Geoffrey Hill: Essays on His Later Work 68), ‘Poesis is what makes the dream other than death, not just a repetition …’
I see in section XXXVI, an emergence of form that, more than bring ‘other than death’ testifies to the presence of ‘form’ itself. The large generic pattern of lyric’s unfoldment—- from the opening determination (the first line) through various qualifying descriptions of the equivocal time/space givens, to the moment I call metaxyturn (note the reference to Celan), and the ensuing reflexivities and confessions. The unfoldment of this sequence brings us to a standstill (tautology has its role in the hovering aporia). In this case, the sense of agapeic (Hell is empty) fuses the personal and the universal in a moment of that remains open to eschatological thought/dream. Return to beginning. The congestion typical of Hill’s late style is dialectic, the grammar of kenotic selving that concludes in festive plurivocity.