Perspectives; Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 – 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. Only after his death did Robert Bridges begin to publish a few of Hopkins’s mature poems in anthologies, hoping to prepare the way for wider acceptance of his style. By 1930 his work was recognized as being among the most original literary accomplishments of his century. It had a marked influence on such leading 20th-century poets as T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and C. Day Lewis.

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"I always knew in my heart Walt Whitman’s mind to be more like my own than any other man’s living. As he is a very great scoundrel this is not a pleasant confession."

"By the by, if the English race had done nothing else, yet if they left the world the notion of a gentleman, they would have done a great service to mankind."

“To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a dungfork in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give Him glory, too. God is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean that they should.”

"Do you know, a horrible thing has happened to me. I have begun to doubt Tennyson."

"The poetical language of an age should be the current language heightened."

“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”

“What are works of art for? to educate, to be standards. To produce is of little use unless what we produce is known, is widely known, the wider known the better, for it is by being known that it works, it influences, it does its duty, it does good. We must try, then, to be known, aim at it, take means to it. And this without puffing in the process or pride in the success.”

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The last quote reminds me of a conversation with a friend of mine, an art history major. She told me a painting is not art if no one ever saw it. I begged to differ. :smirk: It seems the GMH would agree with her.

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