Monday, 5 April 2010


(28/7/1844 - 8/6/1885)
Gerald Manley Hopkins was a daring innovator at a time of largely traditional verse, his life was built on renunciation and self-denial, he found lots of things quite testing and morally dangerous, but seemed to have a go anyway. His life spent hemmed in by personal guilt and scrupulousness encouraged no doubt by the constricting doctrines of 1860s Oxford. His personality was of great complexity, this is what all biographers seem to note, his descent into darkness and depression. Anyway I will endeavor to explore him further later in the year. First and foremost he was a poet, so here I will just post a few of his that reveal this calling. I will add that many of his poems were produced in relation to his spiritual state which were just another addition perhaps to his own complicated emotions. Enjoy.

to a young child

MARGARET, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
it will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.


When will yiu ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I'll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?

O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
He comes to brood and sit.


NOW Time's Andromeda on this rock rude,
With not her either beauty's equal or
Her injury's, look off by both horns of shore,
Her flower, her piece of being, doomed dragon food.
Time past she has been attempted and pursued
By many blows and banes; but now hears roar
A wilder beast from West than all were, more
Rifle in her wrongs, more lawless, and more lewd.

Her Perseus linger and leave her to her extremes?-
Pillowy air he treads a time and hangs
His thoughts on her, forsaken that she seems,
All while her patience, morselled into pangs,
Mounts; then to alight disarming, no one dreams,
With Gorgon's gear and barebill/ thongs and fangs.


EARTH, sweet Eart, sweet landscape, with leaves throng
And louched low grass, heaven that dost appeal
To, with no tongue to plead, no heart to feel;
That canst but only be, but dost that long -

Thou canst but be, but that thou well dost; strong
Thy plea with him who dealt, nay does now deal,
Thy lovely dale down thus and thus bids reel
Thy river, and o'er gives all to rack or wrong.

And what is Earh's eye, tongue, or heart else, where
Else, but in dearand dogged man?- Ah, the heir
To his own selfbent so bound, so tied to his turn,
To thriftless reave bothour rich round world bare
And none reck of world after, this bids wear
Earth brows of such care, care and dear concern.

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