This poem is taken from Stand 214, 15(2) August - October 2017.

Geoffrey Hill Poem
Geoffrey Hill


Like much else rebuilt out of brick dust, ash, and silt of soot; a holocaust in that word’s
true cast: a multiplex burnt offering, residue of scorched hollows, roast flesh,
hallows torched, when the City went up.
Roman and Saxon roused from half-houseled sleep where they had housed.
The font cover here a static fountain of detail divinely stressed.
All Hallows Barking: let her take precedence in this litany and purview of holy residence;
saint-neighboured neighbourhood, its subterrane of the uncanny; and lost
detritus of the not to be doubted many who were tried in faith, who stood forth
for one truth or another, of whom no record survives in the decommissioned
hives of ecclesiastical and common law, but of whom some ‘noble essences’
— Thomas Browne — remain.

St Andrew Holborn for some years appeared woe-begone, as did other Wren
masterworks after Blitz drama and trauma.
St Mary Abchurch, for example, that intricate reredos torn into two thousand bits,
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