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On Michael Longley

Colin Burrow: Michael Longley, 19 October 2017

... There are​ few contemporary poets as likeable as Michael Longley. That’s not because his poems are simply amiable, but because he looks at things hard and clearly and invites his readers to share his acts of seeing. In his new book, Angel Hill (Cape, £10), even a cataract operation is an opportunity to celebrate sharpness of vision: ‘My eyeball’s frozen ...

Social Policy

Ralf Dahrendorf, 3 July 1980

Understanding Social Policy 
by Michael Hill.
Blackwell, 280 pp., £12, April 1980, 0 631 18170 9
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Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries 
edited by Vic George and Roger Lawson.
Routledge, 253 pp., £9.50, April 1980, 0 7100 0424 9
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Planning for Welfare: Social Policy and the Expenditure Process 
edited by Timothy Booth.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 631 19560 2
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The City and Social Theory 
by Michael Peter Smith.
Blackwell, 315 pp., £12, April 1980, 9780631121510
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The Good City: A Study of Urban Development and Policy in Britain 
by David Donnison.
Heinemann, 221 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 435 85217 5
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The Economics of Prosperity: Social Priorities in the Eighties 
by David Blake and Paul Ormerod.
Grant Mclntyre, 230 pp., £3.95, April 1980, 0 86216 013 8
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... from which they want to spend on doing good. But social policy? It is probably unfair to cite Michael Hill’s Understanding Social Policy as an example of why the subject is so likely to produce a yawn. But he manages throughout to reduce subjects of considerable interest to many individuals to a flat, uninteresting, not to say bureaucratic ...
... tips of her waders in self-immolation, often keeping at it well into the night? Celine Dion, Cher, Michael Bolton, Faith Hill, Toni Braxton – knocking you back one after another, all morning and afternoon, at least until the men arrive after work. I don’t know why. Perhaps it has to do with the ‘emotional nature’ of ...

The Case for Geoffrey Hill

Tom Paulin, 4 April 1985

Geoffrey HillEssays on his Work 
edited by Peter Robinson.
Open University, 259 pp., £18, March 1985, 0 335 10588 2
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... Geoffrey Hill’s second collection of poems, King Log, was published in 1968, that year of student radicalism and disappointment. Hill’s title is reactionary in its implications and derives from Aesop’s fable of the frogs who desired a king. In my edition of L’Estrange’s royalist version of Aesop the fable runs like this: The Frogs, living an easy, free life everywhere among the lakes and ponds, assembled together, one day, in a very tumultuous manner, and petitioned Jupiter to let them have a King ...

Like the trees on Primrose Hill

Samuel Hynes, 2 March 1989

Louis MacNeice: A Study 
by Edna Longley.
Faber, 178 pp., £4.95, August 1988, 0 571 13748 2
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Louis MacNeice: Selected Poems 
edited by Michael Longley.
Faber, 160 pp., £4.95, August 1988, 0 571 15270 8
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A Scatter of Memories 
by Margaret Gardiner.
Free Association, 280 pp., £15.95, November 1988, 1 85343 043 9
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... Power House, or to cars sweeping their shadows from lamp-post to lamp-post down Haverstock Hill or to brewer’s drays or to lighthouses and searchlights or to a newly cut lawn or to a hot towel or a friction at the barber’s or to Moran’s two classic tries at Twickenham in 1937 or to the smell of dusting-powder in a warm bathroom or to the fun of ...

Two Poems

Michael Longley, 19 February 2004

... the unimaginable – The frame of a motorbike (and a side-car’s) Hidden by snow and heather up a hill Near Ullapool, a twenties Blackburn of course, Skeleton recognising skull, and soul A monkey’s soul amalgamated with ...

Daddy’s Boy

Michael Ignatieff, 22 December 1983

The Shoemaker: Anatomy of a Psychotic 
by Flora Rheta Schreiber.
Allen Lane, 432 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 7139 1636 2
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... murdering and dismembering six lonely young men at that dreaded address, Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill, Dennis Nilsen must have basked in the thought that, even behind bars, he was still free to roam through the darker corners of the minds of all those people who had scorned or ignored him when he was a Job Centre counsellor and a pub bore. The man has ...

Short Cuts

Michael Grayshott: Topping up the Hereditaries, 7 March 2013

... peers are elected by the whole house. The candidates’ mini-manifestos persist: ‘I have owned a hill farm in Cumbria for 34 years and understand the problems of hill farming’ (Earl of Carlisle, Lib Dem); ‘I run an equestrian/activity centre and am an international show-jumping judge’ (Lord ...

All Woman

Michael Mason, 23 May 1985

‘Men’: A Documentary 
by Anna Ford.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 297 78468 4
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Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure 
by John Cleland, edited by Peter Sabor.
Oxford, 256 pp., £1.95, February 1985, 0 19 281634 9
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... deserved. John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, generally known to the world as Fanny Hill, bases itself on a female sharing of emotions – more fictitiously, but not more factitiously, than ‘Men’. Each of the two sections of the book, which were published some four months apart in 1748 and 1749, is a letter from Fanny to an unnamed female ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... London in my hands, I spent a long time pondering the implications. For almost fifteen years Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson had insisted they were innocent and had been framed by the police. I recalled that Sir Michael Havers, who led for the Crown in the 1975 trial, had reasoned to the jury ...

Five Poems

Günter Eich, translated by Michael Hofmann, 25 March 2010

... How near you are, immortality – in the wings of bats, in pairs of headlights nosing down the hill Lvov 1. City on however many hills. A grizzled yellow. It gives you a memory of bells to take with you, audible in the jingle of your dog-tag. 2. Slopes, like fears, too many to count. The tramline ends in front of peeling doors in a prairie of ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: At the Morelia Festival, 3 November 2011

... father pushing from the side, and with the horse tethered behind. They slowly reach the top of the hill at the back of the screen and disappear over it. We look for a long time at the empty landscape. Then father, daughter, cart and horse return, trundle back down the hill, unpack and settle into the house again. What ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Playtime’, 20 November 2014

directed by Jacques Tati.
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... races vainly after it. Then he has an idea. He can outwit the bike by taking a short cut over a hill, the bike will have to follow the road round. Yes, he is going to make it, he scrambles down the other side of the hill, the bike is approaching. No, there is a ditch between the ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Shakespeare’s Faces, 7 January 2016

... book did not make the national news. Country Life, however, managed that feat when, as Michael Neill discussed in the last issue of the LRB, it devoted its May issue to the horticulturalist Mark Griffiths’s contention that the title page of John Gerard’s Herball of 1598 contained a portrait of Shakespeare. This led to headline variations on the ...

At Tate Britain (2)

Rosemary Hill: Kenneth Clark, 3 July 2014

... his crew had found themselves in Paris in May 1968 in the thick of the événements. His producer, Michael Gill, recalls ‘riot police … just off-camera’, adding, laconically: ‘I was gassed.’ Despite being so apparently out of sympathy with the temper of ‘these days’, Civilisation was hugely popular. Now, when even more of what Clark stood for ...

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