Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The following is an excerpt from an article in the New York Times, which is the same one in a previous question:

No poet of our day has such a well-earned reputation for difficulty as the Englishman Geoffrey Hill, and there are few whose moral vision is so imperiously unsparing. Of late, however, the almost belligerent demands of Hill's severe and densely forbidding poetry have taken an improbable turn: part of what's become daunting about his work is simply keeping up with it all.

How can a demand be belligerent? Is it a metaphor? Does "the almost belligerent demands of Hill's ... poetry" imply that the readers like his poetry very much as if they will fight each other to buy it?

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, Daniel, kiamlaluno, Mitch, Mahnax Aug 21 '12 at 6:06

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
I suggest that if OP is unable to follow such language, he should be reading simpler texts. Are we next going to be asked to interpret densely forbidding, or explain how Hill's poetry can be daunting? Too localised. –  FumbleFingers Mar 20 '12 at 15:36
    
No, we are not. –  Jack Mar 20 '12 at 17:36
    
On the other hand, I see this as an excellent question for writersSE. Needs to be migrated. –  Kris Aug 18 '12 at 11:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Belligerent : inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness

The author is saying that Hill makes demands of his readers in an almost belligerent way i.e., Hill appears to be inclined to actively try to be make his poetry dense and forbidding as if daring readers to try to read it. And it sounds like recently he's been so prolific that just trying to read everything he has put out is a daunting task in its own right nevermind the 'dense and forbidding' nature of the material itself.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. I think the problem is that I didn't understand the preposition "of". Now I see. –  Jack Mar 20 '12 at 17:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.