The Human Heart

The Human Heart

By Hugh Underhill

Price: £10.00

ISBN: 978-1-912524-68-6

Number of pages: 66

Paperback, 135x210mm


The Human Heart is Hugh Underhill’s sixth poetry collection. His books include The Problem of Consciousness in Modern Poetry (Cambridge U. P. 1992), Between Two Worlds. A Survey of Writing in Britain 1900–1914 (Greenwich Exchange 2014), and a collection of short stories (The War is Over, Shoestring 2005). He spent a wartime boyhood in Sussex, lived for a short time in Germany, and subsequently taught at universities in Hong Kong and Australia. In Melbourne he co-edited the literary magazine Helix and in recent years edited The Robert Bloomfield Society Newsletter. During his now quite lengthy retirement he has lived in Bedford and he has grandchildren in Australia and Ireland.

‘There’s no self-delusion about ageing… Underhill’s interests neither narrow nor pall, especially as his connections with Ireland and Australia offer sustaining vistas and particularly as mortality cannot fail to be intimated… In a poem about the artist Käthe Kollwitz he recalls how the purpose of art is to “bear down on our vision” with the “ungainsayable” beauty of truth. Perhaps with age, theories fall away to leave Keatsian ubiquity standing immoveable. If correspondence between past and present is not unusual in poetry, it doesn’t always possess Underhill’s sense of continuity and—yes—apparent fearlessness. In that sense, and for coevals, his work is inspiring: not a bad recommendation from a zone in which glasses are often half-empty… Underhill’s work, formally adaptable and replete with honest detail and conclusion, is antidote to much in contemporary poetry that is obscure, unwise and disengaged.’ – Nigel Jarrett, Acumen

‘Do not forsake Mr Underhill—he’s too good for that.’ – John Halliday, Other Poetry