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The Hound of Heaven

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  204 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A pocket-sized illustrated version of the Francis Thompson's classic poem, "The Hound of Heaven."
Paperback, 29 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Morehouse Publishing (first published 1913)
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Mere Christianity by C.S. LewisInstitutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols by John CalvinThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisOrthodoxy by G.K. ChestertonKnowing God by J.I. Packer
Top 25 Christian Thinkers
33rd out of 181 books — 85 voters
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan DoyleA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronThree Men in a Boat by Jerome K. JeromeHeart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
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113th out of 130 books — 47 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 426)
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Jul 13, 2012 Ann rated it it was amazing
"The Hound of Heaven" is one of the most beautiful and insightful poems ever written. It is a perfect word picture of deviant, depraved, defiant Man running, running, running from God...from Love...who is personified as the Hound of heaven. Thompson's skillful and brilliant use of language is unsurpassed.

Man's senseless, blind flight from God takes him "across the margent of the the gold gateways of the stars", mindlessly thinking he can hide from Him - "I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to
Karen L.
Jan 26, 2010 Karen L. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This poem is absolutely beautiful. I studied this poem with our Church Adult Sunday School class under the wonderful teaching of my friend Greg Biddle. Though there is much old English in the poem, it is worth dissecting to find out the meanings and symbolism of this classic. I really enjoyed hearing Greg read the poem in it's entirity on the concluding class. He read it so beautifully, as it was meant to be read :)

The artist R.H.Ives Gammell did some wonderful paintings that are based on this p
Nov 19, 2015 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“This dramatization of God’s grace is one of the greatest Christian poems”
- Quote Gene Edward Veith
Literary critic

Francis Thompson’s idealistic, illuminative poetic tale about realistic redemption, is startlingly sincere -- as the protagonist is freed from his dark depravities. One is taken on a transcendental voyage of internal and literal realities, encapsulated within an evangelical experimental work of epic proportions. This enduring, eternal tale is one that has been re-told many time
Perry Whitford
Mar 16, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and intense ode to the inescapability of God's love, shamelessly archaic and grand, clearly influenced by the mystic visions of the likes of Blake and De Quincey.

In Thompson's world, God is everywhere and cannot be avoided, regardless of how we may try and our motives for evasion ('Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue') or all the enticements of the world around us, where even the splendors of Nature can't satisfy:

'Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o' h
Jonathan Wylie
I am trying to learn how to understand poetry. This was my first shot. I will come back later to this when I am better at understanding poetry. I love the title though.
Apr 27, 2016 John rated it it was amazing
"Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms."
A soul runs from God, seeking anything but Him. But he is pursued by the Hound of Heaven. Intense. Beautiful. Even mystical. One to ponder. I've been reading this daily for a week or so and I keep seeing something more. This is intense. I love it.
Mar 26, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
There are two definitions for 'hound:'

(1) a type of dog that has a very good sense of smell and is trained to hunt
(2) a person who is very determined to get something especially for a collection : a very enthusiastic collector

Throughout this poem it is not only clear that our hero, the hound, is God personified, but it is also painfully clear that both hound definitions, as described above, are entirely apt.

So that's why I offered forth the hound definition up there at the beginning. Because it
A beautiful poem. More to come in review after class discussion (hopefully).

First: This sets the stage. A man is running from God, not literally, but fleeing from him through the years. Meaning that for all his life he has avoided God.

Second: He flees to hearts, to the comfort of human love. Then he flees to science, which betrays him "in [its] constancy". And again we end with the contrasting difference between the fleeing man and the Pursuer. The former chaotic and spasmodic almost, while th
Jun 07, 2014 Halo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The amount of times I have read this poem, and the amount of changing scenes that went through my mind and imagination, are an absolute delight. The attraction and absorption of words used is simply magnificent, and it carries on in a graceful speed full of rich and endless thoughts.

Justin Howe
Jan 28, 2014 Justin Howe rated it it was amazing
"And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream."

Yup. It's true.
May 18, 2015 Nate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is rapidly becoming my favorite poem ever. My favorite line in the poem is (view spoiler) Thompson's eloquence about his encounter with God has helped me see my own in a better light.
Sheri Ward
Oct 20, 2011 Sheri Ward rated it it was amazing
this is amazing! Really spoke to my heart, and will continue to do so, as I think this is the kind of thing that takes quite some time to really sink in. You need to keep reading it over and over, which I am planning to do.
Doug Huffman
Oct 27, 2013 Doug Huffman rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
Rates right up there with William Blake. I am sorry that Thompson was not more prolific.
Nov 02, 2014 Janelle rated it it was amazing
This is the first poem I ever remember reading. I don't think I really understood it that well, despite my Year 9 teacher's attempts to explain it. But it captured my imagination and drew me into another world.
Feb 19, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing
It's really a long poetic rant/praise about being relentlessly pursued by a loving God, metaphorically deemed a hound, rather than a short book. The language and dynamics are amazing, the theology passionate.
Jeanette Garner Sullivan
A good description of the poem an good narrative.

I would recommended this for group decision and reader groups. I would use it over Andover again. I have enjoyed the read.
Mayowa Adebiyi
Jan 29, 2016 Mayowa Adebiyi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like Chesterton said in the introduction, 'these are religious poems and cannot be mistaken for anything else' and they very good (religious) poems.
Danny Collier
Dec 22, 2014 Danny Collier rated it it was amazing

'Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.' F.T.
GK Stritch
Oct 20, 2014 GK Stritch rated it it was amazing
I agree with G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis.

poem "Francis Thompson" by GK Stritch
William Lytle
Nov 03, 2015 William Lytle rated it it was amazing
Very helpful in my current study of both James Joyce and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Great book on its own merits.
Jul 06, 2015 Lora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational, poetry
Inspiration and good poetic food in one poem.
Mar 27, 2016 Maro rated it it was amazing
Len Knighton
Jun 24, 2013 Len Knighton rated it it was ok
The book I read had a wonderful introduction that supplied a bio of Thompson. I must admit that, with the exception of a couple of lines, I was not impressed with the poem.
Peter Houlihan
resignation hope and futility fear and hope or merely fear of hope
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Apr 30, 2016
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Sue Bridgwater rated it it was amazing
Apr 24, 2016
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Francis Thompson was an English poet and ascetic. After attending college, he moved to London to become a writer, but in menial work, became addicted to opium, and was a street vagrant for years. A married couple read his poetry and rescued him, publishing his first book Poems in 1893. Thompson lived as an unbalanced invalid in Wales and at Storrington, but wrote three books of poetry, with other ...more
More about Francis Thompson...

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“Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms.
But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home;
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!”
“I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
I hid from him, and under running laughter.”
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