Daryl Hine

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Daryl Hine
Born William Daryl Hine
(1936-02-24)February 24, 1936
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Died August 20, 2012(2012-08-20) (aged 76)
Evanston, Illinois, United States
Occupation Poet  • Translator
Language English
Nationality Canadian
Citizenship Canadian

William Daryl Hine (February 24, 1936 – August 20, 2012) was a Canadian poet and translator. A MacArthur Fellow for the class of 1986, Hine was the editor of Poetry from 1968 to 1978. He graduated from McGill University in 1958 and then studied in Europe, as a Canada Council scholar. He earned a PhD. in comparative literature at the University of Chicago (UC) in 1967. During his career, Hine taught at UC, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University.


Hine was born in Burnaby in 1936 and grew up in New Westminster, British Columbia. He was the adopted son of Robert Fraser and Elsie James Hine.[citation needed] He attended McGill University in Montreal 1954-58. His first chapbook, The Carnal and the Crane, was published as part of Louis Dudek's McGill Poetry Series in 1957.[1]

Hine then went to Europe on a Canada Council scholarship, where he lived for the next three years. He moved to New York in 1962 and to Chicago in 1963, taking a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago[2] in 1967. He taught there and at Northwestern University and at University of Illinois (Chicago campus) during the following decades, while he served as an editor. Editor of Poetry magazine, from 1968 to 1978, his correspondence from that time is held at Indiana University.[3] He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1986.

Hine's work appeared in the New York Review of Books,[4] Harper's,[5] The New Yorker,[6] The Tamarack Review,[7] The Paris Review.[8]

The poet first came out as gay in his 1975 work In & Out, which was initially available only in a privately printed version in limited circulation. The work did not gain general publication until 1989.[9]

Following the death of his partner of more than 30 years, the philosopher Samuel Todes, Hine lived in semi-retirement in Evanston, Illinois. Hine died of complications of a blood disorder on August 20, 2012 at the age of 76.[10]



  • The Prince of Darkness & Co. Abelard-Schuman. 1961.  (novel)
  • Polish Subtitles: Impressions from a Journey. Abelard-Schuman. 1962.  (nonfiction)
  • Daryl Hine, Joseph Parisi, ed. (1978). The "Poetry" Anthology, 1912-1977. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-0-395-26548-2. 


  • Five Poems. Emblem Books. 1955. 
  • The Carnal and the Crane. Contact Press. 1957. 
  • The Devil's Picture Book. Abelard. 1960. 
  • Heroics: Five Poems. France: Grosswiller. 1961. 
  • The Wooden Horse. Atheneum. 1965. 
  • Minutes. Atheneum. 1968. 
  • Resident Alien. Atheneum. 1975. ISBN 978-0-689-10651-4. 
  • In and Out. Knopf. 1989.  (privately printed, 1975)
  • Daylight Saving. Atheneum. 1978. 
  • Selected Poems. Toronto: Oxford University Press. 1980. ISBN 978-0-689-11118-1.  {Atheneum, 1981}
  • Academic Festival Overtures. Atheneum. 1985. ISBN 978-0-689-11573-8. 
  • Postscripts. Random House. 1990. ISBN 978-0-394-58836-0.  (Knopf (New York, NY), 1991)
  • Recollected Poems: 1951-2004. Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2007. ISBN 1-55455-021-1. 
  • &: A Serial Poem. Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2010. ISBN 1-55455-164-1. 
  • A Reliquary and Other Poems. Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2013. 
  • The Essential Daryl Hine. The Porcupine's Quill. 2015. 


  • A Mutual Flame (radio play), BBC, 1961.
  • The Death of Seneca, produced in Chicago, 1968.
  • Alcestis (radio play), BBC, 1972.



Hine is less an oracle than a high-energy technician. A recurring metaphor is nuclear fusion — its poetic procedures putting mundane, household elements under graceful pressure until they fuse together into a new substance, dense and glowing in contrast to their prosaic ingredients.[13]

Daryl Hine's is a cultured voice. It avoids stuffiness, egoism and shallow ironies. At the centre of this hailstorm of rhyme is a calm - one made of seeming trifles, yet with thinking that is profound. It is a reflection on civilization as a whole, and is the summing up of a life in particular weighed against eternity.[14]

In Puerilities, Hine has beautifully re-created Book XII of the Greek Anthology; it stands as a translation, and as a poetic achievement in its own right. Puerilities entertains, and can move one too.[15]

Daryl Hine, celebrated for translations of the Homeric Hymns and Theocritus, has embarked on his own autobiography in classical disguise in Academic Festival Overtures. Though the poem is written in self-proclaimed alexandrines (by alternating 13 and 12 syllables), its indented patterning is suggestive rather of Ovid (part Tristia, part Amores). The narrative impulse races through long paragraphs, while a rhyme scheme insistently coagulates internal elements into epigrammatic quatrains. It is a virtuoso achievement, as remarkable in its way as anything by Auden. It is also a remarkable record of a yearning, bookish and inhibited boyhood.[16]

Hine's robust language…gleams with what sonneteers used to call sprezzatura, the confident, making-it-look-easy gloss that greases great art.[17]

At certain moments, in reading him, one has the startled sense that language has arrived at a kind of impasse which only a quick scintillation of wit – in the form of a sly rhyme, a subtle pun or an extravagant rhetorical flourish – can grace, if not elude. As a result, Hine’s poems, unlike the brittle pirouettes of the formalist, seem to take shape, in all their glistening eloquence, hot from some secret forge...Hine succeeds at something which once was commonplace but has now become sadly rare: he writes poems which give pleasure to the reader.[18]

One cannot write about Daryl Hine without using words like "bravura" and "virtuosity."[19]

[I]t is impossible to read Hine without feeling one is in the hands of a technical virtuoso . . . . The key that opens the door of many a Hine poem is to recognize that he treats words as living beings. . . . And it's not just words he loves; Hine is also one of those rare poets for whom the whole history of Western poetry is present and available for plunder.[20]


  1. ^ "Steve Smith" (discussion), LeonardCohenForum.com, Web, May 6, 2011.
  2. ^ Editors, The. "Daryl Hine". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  3. ^ "Poetry mss". Indiana.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  4. ^ "Daryl Hine | The New York Review of Books". Nybooks.com. 1966-04-28. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Histrionic landscape—By Daryl Hine (Harper's Magazine)". Harpers.org. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  6. ^ "Search - The New Yorker". The New Yorker. 
  7. ^ "The Tamarack Review". Antiqbook.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  8. ^ "Writers, Quotes, Interviews, Artist, Biography". Paris Review. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  9. ^ Daryl Hine at glbtq.com
  10. ^ "Daryl Hine, Poet, Editor and Translator, Dies at 76". The New York Times. August 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Canada Council for the Arts - Hine GGLA 2010". Canadacouncil.ca. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  12. ^ "Daryl Hine". macfound.org. 
  13. ^ Alexander Lewis (2010). "Frivolous Flesh and Stoical Bone Review". The Critical Flame. 
  14. ^ "Jury Citation, Governor-General's Literary Award for Poetry". 2010-10-16. 
  15. ^ Otto Steinmayer (2002-04-02). "Puerilities: Erotic Epigrams of The Greek Anthology Review". Bryn Mawr Classical Review. 
  17. ^ Jason Guriel (January 2008). "THE WORLD STAND STILL AND STILL WE FLOW". Poetry (Chicago). 
  18. ^ Eric Ormsby (June 2009). "ULTIMATE DISTILLATIONS". Canadian Notes & Queries. Archived from the original on 2011-08-09. 
  19. ^ Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 1982). "Notes on Current Books, Spring 1982". Virginia Quarterly Review. Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. 
  20. ^ Pollock, James. "Hine Recollected," You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada (Erin, Ontario: The Porcupine's Quill, 2012). 18-21. Print.

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