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Poems and Prose

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,492 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Dazzling in its prosodic innovations, such as the 'sprung rhythm' he pioneered, and wide-ranging in its complexity and metaphysical interest. The Penguin Classics edition of Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poems and Prose is selected and edited with an introduction by W.H. Gardner.

Closer to Dylan Thomas than Matthew Arnold in his 'creative violence' and insistence on the sound of
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 28th 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 1953)
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May 10, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of language
How to speak of Hopkins?

We live in an era and a civilization in which the cultivated appreciation of all the arts has been besmirched with snobbery and identified with wealth and privilege. For all but the few born to wealth and privelege, then, cultivated taste automatically becomes a kind of treason against class. The only exceptions are things like Celtic music, which have clear ties to currently popular forms.
Appreciation of Hopkins’ poetry requires cultivation not only of vocabulary, but of
Feb 18, 2008 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008, poetry
Gerard Manley Hopkins was a lugubrious Victorian Jesuit who wrote some of the most amazing poetry you will ever read in your life. And the only conceivable way I can persuade you that statement is true is to include some of that poetry here:

That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection

Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs they throng; they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, do
Donal Lyons
Jun 04, 2013 Donal Lyons rated it it was amazing
On Saturday sailed from Bremen,
Take settler and seamen, tell men with women,
Two hundred souls in the round—
O Father, not under thy feathers nor ever as guessing
The goal was a shoal, of a fourth the doom to be drowned;
Yet did the dark side of the bay of thy blessing
Not vault them, the million of rounds of thy mercy not reeve even them in?
May 29, 2008 Spencer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I don't know if this is a different publication of the edition that I have, but in any case, Hopkins' poetry is the most powerfully audible poetry that I know. His mastery of sound transforms rhyming, alliteration, and assonance from the hallmarks of juvenile doggerl into a truly poetic symphony of language. For this reason, even though his poetry may be difficult to understand, it is always a delight to hear.
May 14, 2007 Ernie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
All of Hopkins' poetry is amazing, but the "Windhover" in particular is one of the most impressive lyrics I've every read. Hopkins' explosion of the sonnet form and embrace of the notion of oral poetry makes him one of the most powerful voices in modern poetry.
Apr 27, 2016 John rated it really liked it
Some very beautiful stuff. Many of the poems give glory to creation and to the creator. Hopkins is a Catholic Jesuit priest. His writing looks ultimately to God. Some of these are absolutely breathtaking. Some I can't understand. I'm sure that's my fault.
Dec 15, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing
I love this man's poetry, and when I discovered his journal entries, I was moved and delighted. He notices so much in nature; I love how he writes about the particular sunset of each day in his entries, and the birds he has seen.
Jan 06, 2016 Lisa-Michele rated it it was amazing
I was craving a poetry book and this one hit the spot. Hopkins lived a short, intense life from 1844-1889 in the British Isles, educated in the classics at Oxford. I was interested in him because of his unusual religious history. He was raised High Anglican, then became a Catholic and a Jesuit. His poems are lonely. “To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life, Among strangers. Father and mother dear, Brothers and sisters are in Christ not near, And he my peace/my parting, sword and strife.” He wa ...more
Nov 13, 2014 Keith rated it liked it
Hopkins is, if nothing else, a passionate poet. And his best poems (the “terrible sonnets” 41-16) reflect his passionate struggle with god. These poems were, to me, the most vivid and compelling. The rest did not interest me as much.

Subject/theme aside, Hopkins’ poetry is certainly interesting and unique. He talks of sprung rhythms and rove overs and counterpoint – but it all seems some variation on accentual verse. The real unorthodoxy of his poetic meter is his ideas about how to count stresse
Jun 17, 2013 Michaela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
What a sound-smith! I love his poetry. His prose was interesting to browse as well.

One of my favorites - beside Pied Beauty -

'Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend'
Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen
justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, O tho
Aug 19, 2012 Chava rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
The Windhover

Caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh,
Apr 19, 2007 carl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
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;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 5
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.

Í say móre: the just man justices;
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces; 10
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s
Oct 13, 2009 Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the poems have a song like quality, and often times stanzas or entire poems will turn on one word or phrase that hold double or triple meanings. but the notebook entries and journal entries of his are just as engrossing. take one entry where hopkins, as an educator and priest of a college, details an annual event where the students line up down the infirmary to be inoculated for small pox. they are boisterous and silly; only aware that it allows for a day away from classes. except hopkins notice ...more
M.I. Lastman
Jan 27, 2015 M.I. Lastman rated it liked it
I know that I am supposed to admire Hopkins, but I find his flowery rhetoric tiresome. He is the perfect example of the euphuistic style.
Shinjini Dey
Jul 23, 2016 Shinjini Dey rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, victorian-lit
I'd rather not say. Religious heartache is just not for me, but well - the rest were nice.
Aug 24, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Honestly, don't know if I would have slogged through this had it not been for a fantastic experience I had at in the graduate writing program at Manhattanville college with a gifted professor (doing woo woo fist in air for Tom) and two interesting and highly creative class mates (you know who you are), studying sonnets. I highly recommend poetry classes where the group size is under five in number, tea is served in an old kitchen, and you read about the beauty of "speckled things" as rain thrums ...more
Micki James
Sep 22, 2012 Micki James rated it it was amazing
Sprung rhythm. It is Margaret you mourn for. Glory be to God for dappled things. I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding...
Oddly, one of my strongest memories is of "I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;" which is not by Hopkins at all but by Francis Thompson. No matter, I printed a copy of Thompson's Hound of Heaven and tucked it in this book so that I find it whenever I go looking. The prose is stimulating too, peo
Bob Morrow
Mar 04, 2014 Bob Morrow rated it it was amazing
Sheer beauty and invention. Revives.
May 01, 2014 Wuhan rated it really liked it
Shook foil!
Jul 26, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
Hopkins will always be my favorite poet. No easy feat considering how many other poets I love. But this is the best:

The glass-blue days are those
When every colour glows,
Each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it: this blue heaven
This seven or seven times seven
Hued sunbeam will transmit
Perfect, not alter it.
Or if there does some soft,
On things aloof, aloft,
Bloom breathe, that one breath more
Earth is the fairer for.
D. Ryan
Jun 21, 2009 D. Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
There's just nothing better. He may be dark and introspective, but in the end Hopkins always looks out and looks out with hope towards Christ.
"Christ minds; Christ's interests, what to avow or amend
There; eyes them, heart wants, care haunts, foot follows kind,
Their ransome, their rescue, and first, fast, last friend."
~Lantern Out of Doors

I hope I remembered those lines correctly.
tex norman
Feb 13, 2011 tex norman rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Hopkins writes poems that are beautiful to hear, and, for me, way too difficult to understand. He's smarter than me, and his times are less familiar to me, but he also seemed happily and willfully esoteric. His work seems similar to Dylan Thomas. Poets need to read other poets. If you want to be a well read poet, you have to include Hopkins on your READ IT list.
Oct 30, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poetry lovers
Thought provoking poems from a poet way ahead of his time. The sounds are amazing. Hopkins was revolutionary in his approach to language, but it's his honest search for truth in his faith, and his examination of his own conflicted devotion (Hopkins was a priest) that distinguish him as a philosopher. A surprisingly "modern" collection.
Aug 02, 2009 Kaya rated it it was amazing
Whichever professor I had for Victorian Lit in college somehow turned me off to Hopkins. All I can say in retrospect is that he or she must have been shitty teacher indeed, because this is genius work, full stop. It's a shame I had to get this old and cynical before I realized that.
Darran Mclaughlin
Jul 27, 2011 Darran Mclaughlin rated it really liked it
Hopkins is a great poet. He was the best thing to happen to English poetry since the Romantics. His writing feels very 17th Century, reminiscent of the Metaphysical poets and the Jacobean dramatists in its union of thought, feeling and observation.
Jul 05, 2012 Clifton rated it it was amazing
Hopkins has long been one of my favorite poets from the Victorian era. He was a closeted Catholic priest and an innovator of sublime poetry who, like Emily Dickinson (also a favorite of mine), published virtually nothing in his lifetime.
Jeanenne McCloskey
Jun 18, 2009 Jeanenne McCloskey rated it it was amazing
Aside from the poetry I completely enjoyed reading the extracts from his journals and diaries. I especially loved the extract from On the Origin of Beauty: A Platonic Dialogue. It's mind altering.
Mar 07, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pleasure
I was pleasantly surprised by his work. I liked Soldier and the Wreck of the Deutschland, which was in tribute to five nuns who drowned in the wreck. He was a Jesuit.
Phoenix_ Phoenix_
Apr 07, 2016 Phoenix_ Phoenix_ rated it it was amazing
What Hopkins does with language in his poetry is terrific, while his prose is articulate and philosophical.
Apr 17, 2012 Noel rated it it was amazing
I found this book quite by accident when I was visiting relatives. I bought my own copy as soon as I got home. This book saved me in my mid-twenties.
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  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete English Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • Collected Works
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • Collected Poems, 1912-1944
  • The Complete English Poems
  • The Metaphysical Poets
  • The Poems of St John of the Cross
  • Selected Poems
  • Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996
  • Poetry and Prose
  • Dover Beach and Other Poems
  • The War Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • Complete Poems
  • The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Gerard Manley Hopkins was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose 20th-century fame established him posthumously among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.
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“The Windhover

To Christ our Lord

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion. ”
“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring-
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

(From "Spring")”
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