AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 1. February   2021                                Pp.72-81

Anachronism in Geoffrey Hill’s “Mercian Hymns”

Department of English,
College of Languages, University of Baghdad
Baghdad, Iraq



As Jeffrey Wainwright (2005) notes, “it is apparent that [Geoffrey] Hill’s poetry has always known history very well indeed” (n.p.). Throughout his works, including the Mercian Hymns, historical events and figures play a central role. When references to the past make their way into literature, the resulting allusions often broaden the work’s depth, increasing not just the richness of the symbolic interpretation but also rooting the work into a multidisciplinary conversation, bringing events from different points along the human timeline into the conversation. When anachronism occurs, the intentionality plays a role in determining the significance not just of the instance but, potentially, the work as a whole. This paper explores how Hill puts anachronism to intentional use in the Mercian Hymns, with an enduring impact on the meanings that emerge for the reader, depending on the reader’s cultural perspective.

Cite as:

Ismael, N. A. (2021). Anachronism in Geoffrey Hill’s “Mercian Hymns”. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (1) 72-81.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no1.5


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Dr. Nadia Ali Ismael has a Ph.D. in Modern American poetry and is currently an assistant professor teaching fourth-year students at the College of the Languages/University of Baghdad. She has a research interest in literary criticism and English poetry. She has widely published research papers in local and international journals. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1463-4325