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Mortal Beauty, God's Grace: Major Poems and Spiritual Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of English poetry's most brilliant stylistic innovators, and one of the most distinguished poets of any age. However, during his lifetime he was known not as a poet but as a Jesuit priest, and his faith was essential to his work. His writings combine an intense feeling for nature with an ecstatic awareness of its divine origins, most remarkably ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Vintage
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Mar 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: poets
This is for the hardcore Hopkins fan I think. It has a preface, detailed chronology, poems, letters, journal entries, sermons, and essays on poetics. I read the poems, letters and essays and skimmed/read bits of the rest. I have to admit, it was a bit of a slog, mainly because of the religious content. His journal entries are massively detailed nature studies. Also, I hate to say this, but the man seemed a bit unpleasant and it's now tainted my enjoyment of the poems. Kinda wish I never read his ...more
Josiah Pitts
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, spiritual
Beautiful poetry and thoughtful homilies — but frustrating “spiritual writings.” All in all, well worth the read.
CX Dillhunt
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Can't seem to finish as I keep rereading, the poetics & the sermons are incredible, a marvelous letter to his talented, so bright, so troubled, but you always come back to the poetry. And he knew how good he was. A hero, a scholar and poet!

Worth the time, read the poems, then the journals & letters; poetics & sermons take more study.
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It's easy to see why Hopkins is so frequently anthologized with the Moderns. As a poet of the late Victorian period, his work so far surpassed the work of his peers (in the scope of both its content and the mastery it demonstrates), that it is almost impossible to believe that he was a contemporary of Tennyson or Arnold.

I cannot express in words the excitement I feel while reading Hopkins's poetry. His is the joy or anguish so intense and so sincere that it falls rarely within the realm of human
Danyelle Read
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A vintage classic featuring the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and a thorough history of his life and writing career. Fascinating to appreciate the decisions he made in light of what was going on in the different sects of Christianity during the 19th century, and how this reflects on his own spirituality, though his poetry is surely still the product of the dogmatism he sought to reconcile himself with. Hopkins becomes a window through which to view a man of faith's struggle in this historical ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is a wonderful collection. In a very attractive, thin, and affordable trade paperback are collected the major poems of the great poet Hopkins along with selected journal excerpts, letters, essays, and sermons. There is even a brief chronology of his life and some interesting introductory material. There is no excuse for anyone with any sort of home library not to possess this collection. It is limited indeed, but is it so bad if it leaves you hungry for more?
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Only four, not five because I could have done without Hopkins' sermons and letters. Though they reflect a complicated man who was brilliant in terms of theology, it doesn't sit well in a reading with his journals and his poems, which are full of rich, holy imagery that is unparallelled.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Wanted to like it. Found it rather dull. But it's possible I wasn't the ideal audience for this book.
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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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