Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Geoffrey Hill, Diane Abbott and Johnny Mercer

King of the perennial holly-groves, the riven sandstone: overlord of the M5: architect of
   the historic rampart and ditch, the citadel at Tamworth, the summer hermitage in Holy
   Cross: guardian of the Welsh Bridge and the Iron Bridge: contractor to the desirable
   new estates: saltmaster: moneychanger: commissioner for oaths: martyrologist: the
   friend of Charlemagne.
This is the first of Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns, but what does it have to do with the egregious Johnny Mercer?

Read his tweet about Diane Abbott.
Now read this quotation from the London Review of Books:
Hill was very taken by the American editor who explained the description of King Offa as ‘overlord of the M5’ in Mercian Hymns as referring to a branch of the British secret service rather than the motorway system.

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