Review of ‘Running Through the Hills of Silence’, by Geoff William

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 31st January 2005, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Geoff William
Published by DIAL 174 Magazine (2005)

This is the latest book from Geoff William, remembered by many as proprietor of Kirby House, a fascinating curiosity shop in Winster. In effect Running through the Hills of Silence is a collection of poems telling of the author’s journey through life, emphasising his love of the eastern shires but also recalling precious outdoor days in the Peak District.

Geoff was introduced to the Peakland hills as a scout and for him life has meant the Great Outdoors; fell running, mountain biking, rock climbing and canoeing. Amongst the poetry he recalls an exhilarating run from Stanton Moor to Bradford Dale, then along ‘the old Portway trodden by man for 3,000 years’ to Bonsall Moor, where ‘time and space were lost forever’, freeing his imagination to reach the warm seas of a Mediterranean island.

Geoff William also possesses a bleak and often troubled hold on reality, from problems facing the Earth to questions closer to home, such as this verse from Earl Sterndale:

‘What on earth should they do with this incredible land?
Should they enclose it in a glass box for the people to gloat over?
Should they fence it off and leave it to the wild things?
Should they make it into a tourist package and
Bring the trippers to picnic on every hilltop?
Or should they leave it to sleep,
To metamorphose through the ages?’

At the end of his long run, the author has made his new home a thousand miles to the east. He prefaces his final uplifting poem with the words of a contented man.

Review by Julie Bunting

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