Think of the act of watching, of patient observation, even observance. The act of birdwatching is for Hilton what fishing was for Hughes: the attentiveness spreads out into an appreciation of the sorrow and complexity of a world riven by forced migrations, civil war and state-endorsed ecocide. The transcription of the troubled world is counteracted by the wonder of the surviving fragments of nature: chiefly birds, but these are a metonym for what remains.
– Giles Goodland
Jeremy Hilton has been publishing poetry since the mid-1960s, and I confess that among the welter of names I had forgotten about him, until this work pulled me up short.
– Peter Riley
This is a work that has all the line complexities and metrical vigour of the verse of G M Hopkins, whilst embracing the darker nature of the Elder Eddas: Eddaic crows swarm with fulmars to witness the international refugee crisis created by war. And, like an Eddaic bard, Hilton chooses to observe, rather than engage. This is Guernica in words.
– Alec Newman
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