Synopses & Reviews
Hopkins's poetry, most of it published posthumously, is remarkable for the lively inventiveness of its language. Hopkins made use of ancient poetic devices (from, for example, Anglo-Saxon and Welsh poetry). He employed common words in uncommon ways and coined new words as they suited his purposes. He used dialect, musical devices, elaborate alliteration, and convoluted word order. These techniques resulted in a powerful poetry like no one else's. Of his own work, Hopkins wrote to his friend, the poet Robert Bridges, "No doubt my poetry errs on the side of oddness....[I]t is the vice of distinctiveness to become queer. This vice I cannot have escaped." His singularity also extended to rhythm: Hopkins was interested in developing his own peculiar rhythmic patterns, which he said was "the native and natural rhythm of speech" and termed "sprung rhythm" a rhythm that was freed from the constricting techniques of standard poetic rhythms, achieving instead a looser, more musical effect that was ahead of its time in the Victorian era, looking forward to more modern 20th-century verse like that of W. H. Auden, who was strongly influenced by Hopkins.
Closer to Dylan Thomas than Matthew Arnold in his 'creative violence' and insistence on the sound of poetry, Gerard Manley Hopkins was no staid, conventional Victorian. On entering the Society of Jesus and the age of twenty-four, he burnt all his poetry and 'resolved to write no more, as not belonging to my profession, unless by the wish of my superiors.' The poems, letters, and journal entries selected for this edition were written in the following twenty years of his life and published posthumously in 1918.
His verse is wrought from the creative tensions and paradoxes of a poet-priest who wanted to evoke the spiritual essence of nature sensuously, and to communicate this revelation in natural language and speech-rhythms while using condensed, innovative diction and all the skills of poetic artifice. Intense, vital, and individual, his writing is the 'terrible crystal' through which the soul--the inscape, the nature of things--may be illuminated.
Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.
About the Author
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) was born in Essex, the eldest son of a prosperous middle-class family. He was educated at Highgate School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Classics and began his lifelong friendship with Robert Bridges. In 1866 he entered the Roman Catholic Church and two years later he became a member of the Society of Jesus. In 1877 he was ordained and was priest in a number of parishes including a slum district in Liverpool. From 1882 to 1884 he taught at Stonyhurst College and in 1884 he became Classics Professor at University College, Dublin. In his lifetime Hopkins was hardly known as a poet, except to one or two friends; his poems were not published until 1918, in a volume edited by Robert Bridges.
Table of Contents
Poems and Prose Introduction
Note to Tenth Impression
SECTION A - POETRY
Four Early Poems (1865-1866)
1. The Alchemist in the City
2. "Let me be to Thee as the circling bird"
4. The Habit of Perfection
Author's Preface (with explanatory notes by the Editor)
5. The Wreck of the Deutschland
6. Penmaen Pool
7. The Silver Jubilee
8. God's Grandeur
9. The Starlight Night
11. The Lantern out of Doors
12. The Sea and the Skylark
13. The Windhover
14. Pied Beauty
15. Hurrahing in Harvest
16. The Caged Skylark
17. In the Valley of the Elwy
18. The Loss of the Eurydice
19. The May Magnificat
20. Binsey Poplars
21. Duns Scotus's Oxford
22. Henry Purcell
24. The Bugler's First Communion
25. Morning, Midday, and Evening Sacrifice
27. The Candle Indoors
28. The Handsome Heart
29. At the Wedding March
30. Felix Randal
32. Spring and Fall
34. "As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame"
36. The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo
37. The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe
38. To what serves Mortal Beauty?
39. Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves
40. (The Soldier)
41. (Carrion Comfort)
42. "No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief"
43. "To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life"
44. "I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day"
45. "Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray"
46. "My own heart let me more have pity one; let"
47. Tom's Garland
48. Harry Ploughman
49. That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection
50. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
51. "Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend"
52. "The shepherd's brow, fronting forked lightning, owns"
53. To R. B.
Some Unfinished Poems and Fragments (1876-1889)
55. The Woodlark
56. Cheery Beggar
57. "The furl of fresh-leaved dogrose down"
58. St. Winefred's Well
59. (Margaret Clitheroe)
60. "Repeat that, repeat"
61. On a Piece of Music
63. "Thee, God, I come from, to thee go"
64. On the Portrait of Two Beautiful Young People
SECTION B - PROSE
From Note-Books, Journal, Etc.
Early Diary (1863-1864)
From "On the Origin of Beauty: A Platonic Dialogue" (1865)
From the Journal (1866-1875)
Sermon: on Luke ii. 33 (Nov. 23, 1879)
From "The Principle or Foundation: An address, etc."
From "Comments on The Spiritual Exercises"
I. To C.N. Luxmoore (May 7, 1862)
II. To A.W.M. Bailie (Sept. 10, 1864)
III. To E.H. Coleridge (Jan. 22, 1866)
IV. To Rev. Dr. J.H. Newman (Aug. 28, 1866)
V. do. (Oct. 15, 1866)
VI. To his father (Oct. 16 )
VII. To A.W.M. Bailie (Feb. 12, 1868)
VIII. To Miss Kate Hopkins (April 25, 1871)
IX. To Robert Bridges (Aug. 2, 1871)
X. To his mother (March 5, 1872)
XI. To his father (Aug. 29, 1874)
XII. To Robert Bridges (Feb. 20, 1875)
XIII. do. (May 13, 1878)
XIV. To R.W. Dixon (June 4, 1878)
XV. do. (June 13, 1878)
XVI. do. (Oct. 5, 1878)
XVII. do. (Oct. 24, 1879)
XVIII. do. (Oct. 31, 1879)
XIX. To A.W.M. Bailie (May 22, 1880)
XX. To R.W. Dixon (Dec. 1, 1881)
XXI. To Robert Bridges (Feb. 3, 1883)
XXII. To Robert Bridges (Nov. 11, 1884)
XXIII. do. (May 17, 1885)
XXIV. To Coventry Patmore (June 4, 1886)
XXV. do. (May 20, 1888)
XXVI. To Robert Bridges (Sept. 25, 1888)
XXVII. do. (Oct. 19, 1888)
XXVIII. To his mother (May 5, 1889)
SECTION C - EDITOR'S NOTES
(a) Notes on the Poems
(b) Additional Notes on the Prose
Index of First Lines
Index to the Prose