Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His manipulation of prosody (particularly his concept of sprung rhythm and use of imagery) established him as an innovative writer of verse. Two of his major themes were nature and religion.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
|Born||28 July 1844|
Stratford, Essex, England
|Died||8 June 1889 (aged 44)|
|Buried||Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland|
|Alma mater||Heythrop College, London|
Balliol College, Oxford
Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in Stratford, Essex (now in Greater London), as the eldest of probably nine children to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. He was christened at the Anglican church of St John's, Stratford. His father founded a marine insurance firm and at one time served as Hawaiian consul-general in London. He was also for a time churchwarden at St John-at-Hampstead. His grandfather was the physician John Simm Smith, a university colleague of John Keats, and close friend of the eccentric philanthropist Ann Thwaytes.
As a poet, Hopkins's father published works including A Philosopher's Stone and Other Poems (1843), Pietas Metrica (1849), and Spicelegium Poeticum, A Gathering of Verses by Manley Hopkins (1892). He reviewed poetry for The Times and wrote one novel. Catherine (Smith) Hopkins was the daughter of a London physician, particularly fond of music and of reading, especially German philosophy, literature and the novels of Dickens. Both parents were deeply religious high-church Anglicans. Catherine's sister, Maria Smith Giberne, taught her nephew Gerard to sketch. The interest was supported by his uncle, Edward Smith, his great-uncle Richard James Lane, a professional artist, and many other family members. Hopkins's first ambitions were to be a painter, and he would continue to sketch throughout his life, inspired, as an adult, by the work of John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites.
Hopkins became a skilled draughtsman and found that his early training in visual art supported his later work as a poet. His siblings were greatly inspired by language, religion and the creative arts. Milicent (1849–1946) joined an Anglican sisterhood in 1878. Kate (1856–1933) would go on to help Hopkins publish the first edition of his poetry. Hopkins's youngest sister Grace (1857–1945) set many of his poems to music. Lionel (1854–1952) became a world-famous expert on archaic and colloquial Chinese. Arthur (1848–1930) and Everard (1860–1928) were both highly successful artists. Cyril (1846–1932) would join his father's insurance firm.
Manley Hopkins moved his family to Hampstead in 1852, near to where John Keats had lived thirty years before and close to the wide green spaces of Hampstead Heath. When ten years old, Gerard Manley Hopkins was sent to board at Highgate School (1854–1863). While studying Keats's poetry, he wrote "The Escorial" (1860), his earliest extant poem. Here he practised early attempts at asceticism. He once argued that most people drank more liquids than they really needed and bet that he could go without drinking for a week. He persisted until his tongue was black and he collapsed at drill. On another occasion, he abstained from salt for a week. Among his teachers at Highgate was Richard Watson Dixon, who became an enduring friend and correspondent, and among the older pupils Hopkins recalls in his boarding house was the poet Philip Stanhope Worsley, who won the Newdigate Prize.
Hopkins studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford (1863–1867). He began his time in Oxford as a keen socialite and prolific poet, but he seemed to have alarmed himself with the changes in his behaviour that resulted. At Oxford he forged a lifelong friendship with Robert Bridges (eventual Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom), which would be of importance in his development as a poet and in establishing his posthumous acclaim. Hopkins was deeply impressed with the work of Christina Rossetti and she became one of his greatest contemporary influences, meeting him in 1864. During this time he studied with the eminent writer and critic Walter Pater, who tutored him in 1866 and who remained a friend until Hopkins left Oxford in September 1879.
On 18 January 1866, Hopkins composed his most ascetic poem, The Habit of Perfection. On 23 January, he included poetry in the list of things to be given up for Lent. In July, he decided to become a Roman Catholic, and he travelled to Birmingham in September to consult the leader of the Oxford converts, John Henry Newman. Newman received him into the Roman Catholic Church on 21 October 1866.
The decision to convert estranged him from both his family and a number of his acquaintances. After his graduation in 1867, Hopkins was provided by Newman with a teaching post at the Oratory in Birmingham. While there he began to study the violin. On 5 May 1868 Hopkins firmly "resolved to be a religious." Less than a week later, he made a bonfire of his poems and gave up poetry almost entirely for seven years. He also felt the call to enter the ministry and decided to become a Jesuit. He paused to first visit Switzerland, which officially forbade Jesuits to enter.
Hopkins began his Jesuit novitiate at Manresa House, Roehampton, in September 1868. Two years later, he moved to St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for his philosophical studies, taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on 8 September 1870. He felt his interest in poetry prevented him from wholly devoting himself to religion. However, on reading Duns Scotus in 1872 he saw that the two need not conflict. He continued to write a detailed prose journal between 1868 and 1875. Unable to suppress his desire to describe the natural world, he also wrote music, sketched, and for church occasions wrote some "verses," as he called them. He would later write sermons and other religious pieces.
In 1874 Hopkins returned to Manresa House to teach classics. While he was studying in the Jesuit house of theological studies, St Beuno's, near St Asaph in North Wales, he was asked by his religious superior to write a poem to commemorate the foundering of a German ship in a storm. So in 1875 he was moved to take up poetry once more and write a lengthy poem, "The Wreck of the Deutschland". The work was inspired by the Deutschland incident, a maritime disaster in which 157 people died, including five Franciscan nuns who had been leaving Germany due to harsh anti-Catholic laws (see Kulturkampf). The work displays both the religious concerns and some of the unusual meter and rhythms of his subsequent poetry not present in his few remaining early works. It not only depicts the dramatic events and heroic deeds but also tells of the poet's reconciling the terrible events with God's higher purpose. The poem was accepted but not printed by a Jesuit publication. This rejection fed his ambivalence about his poetry. Most of his poetry remained unpublished until after his death.
Hopkins chose the austere and restrictive life of a Jesuit and was at times gloomy. Biographer Robert Bernard Martin notes that "the life expectancy of a man becoming a novice at twenty-one was twenty-three more years rather than the forty years of males of the same age in the general population." The brilliant student who had left Oxford with a first-class honours degree failed his final theology exam. This failure almost certainly meant that, although ordained in 1877, Hopkins would not progress in the order. In 1877 he wrote God's Grandeur, an array of sonnets which included "The Starlight Night". He finished "The Windhover" only a few months before his ordination. Though rigorous, isolated and sometimes unpleasant, his life during Jesuit training had at least some stability; the uncertain and varied work after ordination was even harder on his sensibilities. In October 1877, not long after he completed "The Sea and the Skylark" and only a month after he had been ordained as a priest, Hopkins took up his duties as subminister and teacher at Mount St. Mary's College, Chesterfield. In July 1878 he became curate at the Jesuit church in Mount Street, London. In December he became curate at St. Aloysius's Church, Oxford, then moving to Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. While ministering in Oxford, he became a founding member of Oxford University Newman Society, a society established in 1878 for the Catholic members of the University of Oxford. He taught Greek and Latin at Mount St Mary's College, Sheffield, and Stonyhurst College, Lancashire.
In 1884 he became professor of Greek and Latin at University College Dublin. His English roots and his disagreement with the Irish politics of the time, as well as his own small stature (5 feet 2 inches), unprepossessing nature and personal oddities meant that he was not a particularly effective teacher. This as well as his isolation in Ireland deepened his gloom. His poems of the time, such as "I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, not Day", reflected this. They came to be known as the "terrible sonnets", not because of their quality but because according to Hopkins's friend Canon Richard Watson Dixon, they reached the "terrible crystal", meaning that they crystallised the melancholic dejection that plagued the later part of Hopkins' life.
Several issues brought about this melancholic state and restricted his poetic inspiration during the last five years of his life. His work load was extremely heavy. He disliked living in Dublin, away from England and friends; he was also disappointed at how far the city had fallen from its Georgian elegance of the previous century. His general health deteriorated as his eyesight began to fail. He felt confined and dejected. As a devout Jesuit, he found himself in an artistic dilemma. To subdue any egotism which would violate the humility required by his religious position, he decided never to publish his poems. But Hopkins realised that any true poet requires an audience for criticism and encouragement. This conflict between his religious obligations and his poetic talent caused him to feel that he had failed them both.
After suffering ill health for several years and bouts of diarrhoea, Hopkins died of typhoid fever in 1889 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, following his funeral in Saint Francis Xavier Church on Gardiner Street, located in Georgian Dublin. He is thought to have suffered throughout his life from what today might be diagnosed as either bipolar disorder or chronic unipolar depression, and battled a deep sense of melancholic anguish. However, on his death bed, his last words were, "I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life."
According to John Bayley, "All his life Hopkins was haunted by the sense of personal bankruptcy and impotence, the straining of 'time's eunuch' with no more to 'spend'..." a sense of inadequacy, graphically expressed in his last sonnets. Toward the end of his life, Hopkins suffered several long bouts of depression. The "terrible sonnets" are a group of poems in which Hopkins struggles with problems of religious doubt. He described them to Bridges as "[t]he thin gleanings of a long weary while."
"Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord" (1889) echoes Jeremiah 12:1 in asking why do the wicked prosper. It reflects the exasperation of the faithful servant who feels he has been neglected, and is addressed to a divine person ("Sir") capable of hearing the complaint but seemingly unwilling to listen. Hopkins uses parched roots as a metaphor for despair.
The image of the poet's feeling estranged from God figures in "I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day" in which he describes lying awake before dawn likening his prayers to "dead letters sent To dearest him that lives alas! away." The opening line recalls Lamentations 3:2, "He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light."
"No Worst, There is None" and "Carrion Comfort" are also counted among the "terrible sonnets".
Much of Hopkins's historical importance has to do with the changes he brought to the form of poetry, which ran contrary to conventional ideas of metre. Prior to Hopkins, most Middle English and Modern English poetry was based on a rhythmic structure inherited from the Norman side of English literary heritage. This structure is based on repeating "feet" of two or three syllables, with the stressed syllable falling in the same place on each repetition. Hopkins called this structure "running rhythm", and though he wrote some of his early verse in running rhythm he became fascinated with the older rhythmic structure of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, of which Beowulf is the most famous example. Hopkins called his own rhythmic structure sprung rhythm. Sprung rhythm is structured around feet with a variable number of syllables, generally between one and four syllables per foot, with the stress always falling on the first syllable in a foot. It is similar to the "rolling stresses" of Robinson Jeffers, another poet who rejected conventional metre. Hopkins saw sprung rhythm as a way to escape the constraints of running rhythm, which he said inevitably pushed poetry written in it to become "same and tame." In this way, Hopkins sprung rhythm can be seen as anticipating much of free verse. His work has no great affinity with either of the contemporary Pre-Raphaelite and neo-romanticism schools, although he does share their descriptive love of nature and he is often seen as a precursor to modernist poetry or as a bridge between the two poetic eras.
The language of Hopkins’s poems is often striking. His imagery can be simple, as in Heaven-Haven, where the comparison is between a nun entering a convent and a ship entering a harbour out of a storm. It can be splendidly metaphysical and intricate, as it is in As Kingfishers Catch Fire, where he leaps from one image to another to show how each thing expresses its own uniqueness, and how divinity reflects itself through all of them.
Hopkins was a supporter of linguistic purism in English. In an 1882 letter to Robert Bridges, Hopkins writes: "It makes one weep to think what English might have been; for in spite of all that Shakespeare and Milton have done ... no beauty in a language can make up for want of purity". He took time to learn Old English, which became a major influence on his writing. In the same letter to Bridges he calls Old English "a vastly superior thing to what we have now".
He uses many archaic and dialect words, but also coins new words. One example of this is twindles, which seems from its context in Inversnaid to mean a combination of twines and dwindles. He often creates compound adjectives, sometimes with a hyphen (such as dapple-dawn-drawn falcon) but often without, as in rolling level underneath him steady air. This use of compound adjectives, similar to the Old English use of compounds nouns, concentrates his images, communicating the instress of the poet's perceptions of an inscape to his reader.
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Hopkins was influenced by the Welsh language that he acquired while studying theology at St Beuno's near St Asaph. The poetic forms of Welsh literature and particularly cynghanedd with its emphasis on repeating sounds accorded with his own style and became a prominent feature of his work. This reliance on similar-sounding words with close or differing senses means that his poems are best understood if read aloud. An important element in his work is Hopkins's own concept of "inscape" which was derived, in part, from the medieval theologian Duns Scotus. Anthony Domestico explains,
Inscape, for Hopkins, is the charged essence, the absolute singularity that gives each created thing its being; instress is both the energy that holds the inscape together and the process by which this inscape is perceived by an observer. We instress the inscape of a tulip, Hopkins would say, when we appreciate the particular delicacy of its petals, when we are enraptured by its specific, inimitable shade of pink."
The Windhover aims to depict not the bird in general but instead one instance and its relation to the breeze. This is just one interpretation of Hopkins's most famous poem, one which he felt was his best.
During his lifetime, Hopkins published few poems. It was only through the efforts of Robert Bridges that his works were seen. Despite Hopkins burning all his poems on entering the Jesuit novitiate, he had already sent some to Bridges who, with a few other friends, was one of the few people to see many of them for some years. After Hopkins's death they were distributed to a wider audience, mostly fellow poets, and in 1918 Bridges, by then poet laureate, published a collected edition; an expanded edition, prepared by Charles Williams, appeared in 1930, and a greatly expanded edition by William Henry Gardner appeared in 1948 (eventually reaching a fourth edition, 1967, with N. H. Mackenzie).
Timothy d'Arch Smith, antiquarian bookseller, ascribes to Hopkins suppressed erotic impulses which he views as taking on a degree of specificity after Hopkins met Robert Bridges's distant cousin, friend, and fellow Etonian Digby Mackworth Dolben, "a Christian Uranian". Robert Martin asserts that when Hopkins first met Dolben, on Dolben's 17th birthday, in Oxford in February 1865, it "was, quite simply, the most momentous emotional event of [his] undergraduate years, probably of his entire life." According to Robert Martin, "Hopkins was completely taken with Dolben, who was nearly four years his junior, and his private journal for confessions the following year proves how absorbed he was in imperfectly suppressed erotic thoughts of him." Martin is also of the opinion that "...it is probable that [Hopkins] would have been deeply shocked at the reality of sexual intimacy with another person."
Hopkins composed two poems about Dolben, "Where art thou friend" and "The Beginning of the End." Robert Bridges, who edited the first edition of Dolben's poems as well as Hopkins's, cautioned that the second poem "must never be printed," though Bridges himself included it in the first edition (1918). Another indication of the nature of his feelings for Dolben is that Hopkins's high Anglican confessor seems to have forbidden him to have any contact with Dolben except by letter. Their relationship was abruptly ended by Dolben's drowning in June 1867, an event which greatly affected Hopkins, although his feeling for Dolben seems to have cooled a good deal by that time. "Ironically, fate may have bestowed more through Dolben’s death than it could ever have bestowed through longer life ... [for] many of Hopkins’s best poems — impregnated with an elegiac longing for Dolben, his lost beloved and his muse — were the result." Hopkins' relationship with Dolben is explored in the novel The Hopkins Conundrum.
Some of Hopkins' poems, such as The Bugler's First Communion and Epithalamion, arguably embody homoerotic themes, although this second poem was arranged by Robert Bridges from extant fragments. One contemporary literary critic, M. M. Kaylor, has argued for Hopkins's inclusion with the Uranian poets, a group whose writings derived, in many ways, from the prose works of Walter Pater, Hopkins's academic coach for his Greats exams, and later his lifelong friend.
Some critics have argued that homoerotic readings are either highly tendentious, or, that they can be classified under the broader category of "homosociality," over the gender, sexual-specific "homosexual" term. Hopkins’s journal writings, they argue, offer a clear admiration for feminised beauty. In his book Hopkins Reconstructed (2000), Justus George Lawler critiques Robert Martin’s controversial biography Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Very Private Life (1991) by suggesting that Martin "cannot see the heterosexual beam... for the homosexual biographical mote in his own eye... it amounts to a slanted eisegesis". The poems that elicit homoerotic readings can be read not merely as exercises in sublimation but as powerful renditions of religious conviction, a conviction that caused strain in his family and even led him to burn some of his poems that he felt were unnecessarily self-centred. Julia Saville’s book A Queer Chivalry views the religious imagery in the poems as Hopkins’s way of expressing the tension with homosexual identity and desire.
Christopher Ricks notes that Hopkins engaged in a number of penitential practices, "... but all of these self-inflictions were not self-inflictions to him, and they are his business—or are his understanding of what it was for him to be about his Father’s business." Ricks takes issue with Martin's apparent lack of appreciation of the importance of the role of Hopkins' religious commitment to his writing, and cautions against assigning a priority of influence to any sexual instincts over other factors such as Hopkins' estrangement from his family. Biographer Paul Mariani finds in Hopkins poems "... an irreconcilable tension—on the one hand, the selflessness demanded by Jesuit discipline; on the other, the seeming self-indulgence of poetic creation."
Hopkins spent the last five years of his life as a classics professor at University College Dublin. Hopkins’ isolation in 1885 was multiple: a Jesuit distanced from his Anglican family and his homeland, an Englishman teaching in Dublin during a time of political strife, an unpublished poet striving to reconcile his artistic and religious callings. The poem "To seem the stranger" was written in Ireland between 1885 and 1886 and is a poem of isolation and loneliness.
Ricks called Hopkins "the most original poet of the Victorian age." Hopkins is considered as influential as T. S. Eliot in initiating the modern movement in poetry. His experiments with elliptical phrasing and double meanings and quirky conversational rhythms turned out to be liberating to poets such as W. H. Auden and Dylan Thomas.
Well-known works by Hopkins include:
Befriended is the sixth full-length studio album by American alternative rock band the Innocence Mission. The album was released on 25 August 2003 in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Agenda and on 2 September 2003 in the United States and Canada by Badman Recording Co.
The lyrics of the song "No Storms Come" are adapted from the poem "Heaven-Haven: A Nun Takes the Veil" by Gerard Manley Hopkins.Bernard Philip Kelly
Bernard Philip Kelly (1907—1958) was an English Catholic layman who worked in a bank, raised a large family, and regularly penned, over 25 years, philosophical essays and book reviews for the Dominican journal Blackfriars. His friendship with foremost British Thomists and leading distributists of his day, and with the Indian scholar Ananda Coomaraswamy—along with his love for the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins—permitted his short life to become the matrix of a rich body of writings.Binsey Poplars
‘Binsey Poplars’ is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889), written in 1879. The poem was inspired by the felling of a row of poplar trees near the village of Binsey, northwest of Oxford, England, and overlooking Port Meadow on the bank of the River Thames. The replacements for these trees, running from Binsey north to Godstow, lasted until 2004, when replanting began again.The Bodleian Library of Oxford University holds a draft manuscript of the poem, handwritten by Hopkins, acquired in 2013.Broken rhyme
Broken rhyme, also called split rhyme, is a form of rhyme. It is produced by dividing a word at the line break of a poem to make a rhyme with the end word of another line. Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem The Windhover, for example, divides the word "kingdom" at the end of the first line to rhyme with the word "wing" ending the fourth line. Hopkins is rare in using the device in serious poems. More commonly, the device is used in comic or playful poetry, as in the sixth stanza of Edward Lear's "How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear" or in Elizabeth Bishop's "Pink Dog":
Sixth Stanza of "How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear":When he walks in waterproof white,
The children run after him so!
Calling out, "He's gone out in his night-
Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!"Here, the word "nightgown" has been split over the third and fourth lines so that the first and third lines form a tail rhyme.
For sentences that cross structural breaks, but without word-division, see the article enjambement.Caudate sonnet
A caudate sonnet is an expanded version of the sonnet. It consists of 14 lines in standard sonnet forms followed by a coda (Latin cauda meaning "tail", from which the name is derived).
The invention of the form is credited to Francesco Berni. According to the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry, the form is most frequently used for satire, such as the most prominent English instance, John Milton's "On the New Forcers of Conscience Under the Long Parliament."Gerard Manley Hopkins used the form in a less satirical mood in his "That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire." The poem is one of many in which Hopkins experimented with variations on sonnet form. However, unlike the curtal sonnet, a Hopkins invention which is a 10½-line form with precisely the same proportions as a Petrarchan sonnet, his caudate sonnet is a full sonnet unmodified but with an extra six lines. Hopkins heightens the effect of the extension with an enjambment from the 14th line to the 15th.
Hopkins explored the possibility of such a coda in a series of letters exchanged with Robert Bridges, from whom he learned of the centrality of Milton's example in the form. Though the intent of his example is distinct from Milton's satirical use, the effect of the coda—to add stability to the poem's close—is comparable.Christ Is My Hope
Christ Is My Hope is the third EP by the American alternative rock band The Innocence Mission.
A collection of newly recorded spiritual music ("O Lord of Light", "O Sacred Head Surrounded", "Beautiful Saviour"), folk songs ("500 Miles"), ballads ("Fare Thee Well"), and original songs ("No Storms Come", "Christ Is My Hope", "Morning Star"), the record was released independently by the group's own label, LAMP, with all proceeds donated to hunger relief charities.
The lyrics to "No Storms Come" are adapted from the poem "Heaven-Haven (A Nun Takes the Veil)" by 19th-century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. It was re-released on their album Befriended (2003).Cynghanedd
In Welsh-language poetry, cynghanedd (Welsh pronunciation: [kəŋˈhaneð], literally "harmony") is the basic concept of sound-arrangement within one line, using stress, alliteration and rhyme. The various forms of cynghanedd show up in the definitions of all formal Welsh verse forms, such as the awdl and cerdd dafod. Though of ancient origin, cynghanedd and variations of it are still used today by many Welsh-language poets. A number of poets have experimented with using cynghanedd in English-language verse, for instance Gerard Manley Hopkins. Some of Dylan Thomas's work is also influenced by cynghanedd.Desmond Egan
Desmond Egan (born 15 July, 1936 in Athlone, County Westmeath) is an Irish poet, publisher, and festival organiser. He has published over 20 collections of poetry as well as some translations of Greek plays. His own work has been translated into Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Russian. He founded The Goldsmith Press (1972), edited the quarterly magazine for the arts Era (1974-1984), and starting in 1987 he has served as artistic director of the Gerard Manley Hopkins International Festival each July in Kildare, Ireland.Faber Book of Modern Verse
The Faber Book of Modern Verse was a poetry anthology, edited in its first edition by Michael Roberts, and published in 1936 by Faber and Faber. There was a second edition (1951) edited by Anne Ridler, and a third edition (1965) edited by Donald Hall. The selection was of poems in English printed after 1910, which meant that work by Gerard Manley Hopkins could be included. A later edition was edited by Peter Porter.Inscape and instress
Inscape and instress are complementary concepts about individuality and uniqueness derived by Gerard Manley Hopkins from the ideas of the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus.
[Hopkins] felt that everything in the universe was characterized by what he called inscape, the distinctive design that constitutes individual identity. This identity is not static but dynamic. Each being in the universe 'selves,' that is, enacts its identity. And the human being, the most highly selved, the most individually distinctive being in the universe, recognizes the inscape of other beings in an act that Hopkins calls instress, the apprehension of an object in an intense thrust of energy toward it that enables one to realize specific distinctiveness. Ultimately, the instress of inscape leads one to Christ, for the individual identity of any object is the stamp of divine creation on it.
This is related to a logocentric theology and the Imago Dei. A logocentric theology of creation is based on correlation of the Genesis account and John 1. Since all creation is by the Word (divine fiat) human identity in God's image is grounded in God's speech and no two creation words are ever spoken alike. This idea is reflected by J. R. R. Tolkien who compares the Creator to a perfect prism and creation to the refraction of perfect light. Tolkien writes,
'Dear Sir,' I said – 'Although now long estranged,
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed
Dis-grace he may be, yet is not de-throned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned:
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted Light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.The idea is strongly embraced by the Trappist monk and author Thomas Merton who admired both Scotus and Hopkins. In New Seeds of Contemplation Merton equates the unique "thingness" of a thing, its inscape, to sanctity. Merton writes,
"No two created beings are exactly alike. And their individuality is no imperfection. On the contrary, the perfection of each created thing is not merely its conformity to an abstract type but in its own individual identity with itself."The result is that holiness itself is grounded in God's creation, his call, and not in a Platonic ideal. To the extent that any "thing" (including humans) honors God's unique idea of them they are holy. Holiness thus connects to "vocation" (from the Latin vocare for "voice") in two ways. First, God creates through the word; and second, when being responds rightly to God's speech by expressing his unique word the result is Holiness.National Lampoon This Side of Parodies
National Lampoon This Side of Parodies is an American humor book that was published by Warner Paperback Books in 1974. It was a spin-off of National Lampoon magazine. The book consisted of parodies of the work of famous writers, including Richard Brautigan, Boccaccio, Raymond Chandler, Henri Charrière, John Cleland, ee cummings, T. S. Eliot, Kahlil Gibran, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Shakespeare.Pied Beauty
"Pied Beauty" is a curtal sonnet by the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889). It was written in 1877, but not published until 1918, when it was included as part of the collection Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins.Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is the major center of theatre and the arts at Fairfield University located in Fairfield, Connecticut. The Center includes events such as popular and classical music, dance, theatre, and programs for young audiences. Westport Magazine recognized the Quick Center as the "cultural epicenter of Fairfield County."The Quick Center was constructed and dedicated in 1990 with the generous support and leadership of Fairfield University benefactor, Leslie C. Quick Jr. and was named for his beloved wife, Regina. Mr. Quick was a member of the Fairfield University Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board from 1982 through 1995 and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 1999.Richard M. Capobianco
Richard M. Capobianco is an American philosophy professor and one of the leading commentators on the thought of the 20th century German philosopher Martin Heidegger. His two books, Engaging Heidegger and Heidegger's Way of Being, have led the way to a renewed appreciation of Heidegger's core concern with Being as temporal radiant emergence or manifestation. He has also brought Heidegger into closer proximity with American authors such as Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, and E. E. Cummings, and with English poets such as William Wordsworth and Gerard Manley Hopkins.Robert Bridges
Robert Seymour Bridges (23 October 1844 – 21 April 1930) was Britain's poet laureate from 1913 to 1930. A doctor by training, he achieved literary fame only late in life. His poems reflect a deep Christian faith, and he is the author of many well-known hymns. It was through Bridges’ efforts that Gerard Manley Hopkins achieved posthumous fame.Sprung rhythm
Sprung rhythm is a poetic rhythm designed to imitate the rhythm of natural speech. It is constructed from feet in which the first syllable is stressed and may be followed by a variable number of unstressed syllables. The British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins said he discovered this previously unnamed poetic rhythm in the natural patterns of English in folk songs, spoken poetry, Shakespeare, Milton, et al. He used diacritical marks on syllables to indicate which should be stressed in cases "where the reader might be in doubt which syllable should have the stress" (acute, e.g. shéer) and which syllables should be pronounced but not stressed (grave, e.g., gleanèd).
Some critics believe he merely coined a name for poems with mixed, irregular feet, like free verse. However, while sprung rhythm allows for an indeterminate number of syllables to a foot, Hopkins was very careful to keep the number of feet per line consistent across each individual work, a trait that free verse does not share. Sprung rhythm may be classed as a form of accentual verse, due to its being stress-timed, rather than syllable-timed, and while sprung rhythm did not become a popular literary form, Hopkins's advocacy did assist in a revival of accentual verse more generally.St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre
St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre, known locally as St Beuno's College, is a spirituality and retreat centre in Tremeirchion, Denbighshire, Wales. Built in 1847 and opened in 1848, it served as home for the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins during his theology studies. In 2002 St Beuno's was categorised as a Grade II* listed building and a Welsh Historic Monument (Denbighshire CC, Record No. 26459).The Windhover
"The Windhover" is a sonnet by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889). It was written on May 30, 1877, but not published until 1918, when it was included as part of the collection Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins dedicated the poem "to Christ our Lord".
"Windhover" is another name for the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). The name refers to the bird's ability to hover in midair while hunting prey. In the poem, the narrator admires the bird as it hovers in the air, suggesting that it controls the wind as a man may control a horse. The bird then suddenly swoops downwards and "rebuffed the big wind". The bird can be viewed as a metaphor for Christ or of divine epiphany.
Hopkins called "The Windhover" "the best thing [he] ever wrote". It commonly appears in anthologies and has lent itself to many interpretations.The Wreck of the Deutschland
The Wreck of the Deutschland is a 35-stanza ode by Gerard Manley Hopkins with Christian themes, composed in 1875 and 1876, though not published until 1918. The poem depicts the shipwreck of the SS Deutschland. Among those killed in the shipwreck were five Franciscan nuns forced to leave Germany by the Falk Laws; the poem is dedicated to their memory.
The poem has attracted considerable critical attention, and is often considered Hopkins' masterpiece because of its length, ambition, and use of sprung rhythm and instress.