Hopkins Lectures 2012

































































































































Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Spiritual Life

Elaine Murphy

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed.
Why do men then now not reck his rod? (i)

These lines written by Gerard Manley Hopkins in the year of his ordination, 1877, contain powerful images of the action of God. They also pose a question, which became a spiritual quest for Hopkins and which was to occupy the poet for the rest of his life as a follower of Christ, in the Society of Jesus.

The Gift of Poetry

Hopkins came from a Victorian, upper middle-class Anglican family. Born in 1844, in Stratford, Essex he was the eldest of nine children. His mother Kate was a doctor’s daughter; his father Manley was a marine loss adjuster, Consul General to Hawaii based in London and an author of several books of poetry. As the family’s fortunes improved they moved from Stratford, to Oak Hill Park in Hampstead. Gerard attended Highgate School, a short walk across Hampstead Heath, as a boarder. He was bright, artistically gifted and well schooled in religion, art, music, literature and the Classics. Though instilled with a typical Victorian sense of duty and responsibility he was, by all accounts, a spirited youth being involved in several skirmishes with the Highgate headmaster. He was also endowed with a delightful sense of humour, a musical ear and a gift of mimicry! His gift for poetry became evident when, in 1860, he won the Governors’ Gold Medal for Latin Verse and the Highgate Poetry Prize for his poem The Escorial.

Three of his early poems The Escorial, Il Mystico and A Vision of the Mermaids are interesting for many artistic reasons but also because they reveal something of the poet’s spiritual consciousness at the tender age of 16 years. His first extant poem The Escorial despite detailed references to art, architecture and history, reveals a fascination with heroic martyrdom. The young Hopkins makes use of his rich vocabulary to the full to describe in vivid detail, the tormented death of Saint Lawrence:

For that staunch saint still prais’d his master’s name
While his crack’d flesh lay hissing on the grate;
Then fail’d the tongue; the poor collapsing frame,
Hung like a wreck that flames not billows beat-

In a letter to classmate Ernest Hartley Coleridge (grandson of Samuel Taylor Coleridge), he reveals his admiration for Tennyson’s poem St. Simeon Stylites describing it as ‘magnificent’. Perhaps this had something to do with Tennyson’s sustained and vivid portrayal of a heroic self-deprecating and physically tormented saint, Simeon Stylites, rotting in the elements, on a 40 cubits high pillar, as atonement to God for his sins.

The second of these early poems, Il Mystico, which Hopkins describes as an imitation of Milton’s Il Penseroso, is a plea for insight and spiritual enlightenment into the mysteries of scripture and the heavenly Jerusalem, which he knows can only be revealed to pure souls. His appeal to ‘sensual gross desires’, to ‘foul and cumber not the shaken plumage of My Spirit’s wings’ is a foretaste of his later thinking that poetry as a sensual activity was dangerous for his spiritual soul. Yet the third poem, A Vision of the Mermaids dated Christmas 1862 employs once again a rich and sensuous Keatsian vocabulary to create lavish portrayals of the natural world as, for instance, the following images of a sunset:

Plum-purple was the west; but spikes of light
Spear’d open lustrous gashes, crimson-white;

As the poem closes, he notices how most of the mermaids: … in a half-circle watch’d the sun; And a sweet sadness dwelt on everyone; In this last couplet, we get the first intimation that the spirit ‘Melancholy’ hailed by Milton in Il Penseroso as a ‘Goddess, sage and holy’ was to accompany Hopkins for almost his entire life. So then, from these three poems we find three keys to his spirituality: a fascination with religious martyrdom, a desire for purity and spiritual enlightment and intimations of melancholy.

Oxford & Religious conversion 1863-1867

Following his successful studies at Highgate, Hopkins was awarded a closed Exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford where he began to study Classics in the spring of 1863.

Oxford at that time was at the centre of the sustained climate of religious upheaval which had been ongoing in Victorian England since 1833, when John Henry Newman and his contemporaries such as Edward Pusey were at the forefront of the Tractarian battle of what became known as the Oxford Movement and which resulted in the conversion of Newman to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1859, after the publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species and the steady development of subsequent scientific theory and materialism, Christian moral teaching again came under severe scrutiny.

One year after Hopkins arrived in Balliol, from April 21st to June 2nd 1864, John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua appeared in seven pamphlets in response to outrageous accusations from Charles Kingsley. It is clear that Hopkins read the pamphlets and during this period gave the entire question of religious belief his profound attention. He wrote again to E.H. Coleridge (1st June 1864):

The great aid to belief and object of belief is the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Religion without that is sombre, dangerous, illogical, with that it is –not to speak of its grand consistency and certainty - loveable. Hold that and you will gain all Catholic trut

His religious perception was changing as a journal entry dated July 17th 1866, less than one year later reads:

‘It was this night I believe … that I saw clearly the impossibility of staying in the Church of England, but resolved to say nothing to anyone till three months are over, that is the end of the Long, and then of course to take no step till after my Degree.’(2)

The first spiritual crisis in his life had resolved itself. On the 28th August, 1866, he wrote to John Henry Newman stating ‘I am anxious to become a Catholic’… Three months later (Oct.16th 1866), in what must have been a difficult letter to his father, he sets out his reasons clearly as follow:

(i) simple and strictly drawn arguments partly my own, partly others

(ii) Common –sense

(iii) reading the Bible, especially the Holy Gospels, where texts like ‘Thou art Peter’ (the evasions proposed for this alone are enough to make one a Catholic) and the manifest position of St. Peter among the Apostle so pursued me that at one time I thought it best to stop thinking of them

(iv) an increasing knowledge of the Catholic system (at first under the form of Tractarianism, later in its genuine place) Despite his family’s concern and objections from his Oxford tutors, Hopkins’s mind was firmly made up.

A follower of St. Ignatius

Dr. Newman finally received him into the Catholic Church in Birmingham, on the 21st October 1866. In 1867, Hopkins got a first in Greats. His tutor, Benjamin Jowett, called Hopkins ‘The Star of Balliol’ acknowledging him as one of the finest Greek Scholars ever to attend the college. After graduating, he taught for a while at the Oratory, Birmingham, while he considered a vocation for the priesthood. He confided to a close friend and correspondent Alexander Baillie that he wanted to write and to write what would best serve his religion. He reasoned that as a priest, he could very likely do that but could not make up his mind whether to join the Benedictines or the Jesuits.

However, Hopkins, with his passion for heroic sacrifice, was destined to become a soldier of Christ, a follower of St. Ignatius of Loyola. On the 7th of September 1868, he entered the novitiate of the Jesuit Order at Manresa, Roehampton. There he would chart a course, from his own personal and unique perspective, through the archaeology of the Roman Catholic Church and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, to the ultimate centre of faith, the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. He had now, at 24 years of age, made a spiritual journey of some immense proportion. He had come from the comfort and protection of a middle class Anglican family, where everything was predictable and secure. He had marked his happy Oxford years with a most important and praiseworthy desire: the persistent and heroic pursuit of lasting intellectual and spiritual values. Finally, faced with the only ethical choice he felt he could make, he had proceeded with the traumatic upheaval of his conversion to Roman Catholicism, his vocation to the priesthood, and subsequent decision to join the Jesuit Order.

An Artist’s Spirituality

But what of his poetry, the outstanding gift he had brought with him to Balliol? How was his passionate, creative and sensual nature to survive? He was intensely involved in the world of nature. He observed and recorded it with painstaking detail. In this he mirrored the influence of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelite painters. His notebooks and journals contain numerous references to the weather, trees, plants clouds, skyscapes, sunsets, sunrises, birds, animals, art, and architecture. He attempted to discipline his passion for the natural world One journal entry refers to a penance which he was doing from Jan. 25th to July 25th, which prevented him from seeing much that half-year. (3) After that the journal resumes again with renewed vigour. Hopkins was to become a soldier of Christ, but unknown to him at the time, the great battle he would continue to fight, which would drain and sap his physical energies, would be for the integrity and salvation of his own poetic soul in Christ. One month before he entered the novitiate at Manresa, he wrote to his friend Robert Bridges: (7th August 1868):

‘I cannot send my Summa for it is burnt with my other verses: I saw they wd. interfere with my state and vocation.’ He believed poetry was an activity of the senses and not in accord with the spiritual nature of his vocation. He dedicated himself to the duties of his novitiate, but the poetic quality of his spirituality would surface again and again with unruly regularity throughout his spiritual training.

The Wreck of the Deutschland

In 1870, he began three years of philosophy at St. Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, Lancashire followed by three years of theology at St. Beuno’s Wales. In the early hours of the morning of the 6th December 1875, an event occurred which was to result in a breakthrough once again of Hopkins poetic genius. An extract from a letter to correspondent Richard Watson Dixon (Oct.5th 1878), outlines the circumstances of the break in his self imposed poetic silence.

‘What I had written I burnt before I became a Jesuit and resolved to write no more, as not belonging to my profession, unless it were by the wish of my superiors; so for seven years I wrote nothing but two or three little presentation pieces which occasion called for. But when in the winter of ’75 The Deutschland was wrecked in the mouth of the Thames and five Franciscan nuns, exiles from Germany by the Falck Laws, aboard of her were drowned I was affected by the account and happening to say so to my rector he said that he wished someone would write a poem on the subject. On this hint I set to work and, though my hand was out at first, produced one. I had long had haunting my ear the echo of a new rhythm which now I realised on paper.’

He continues in that same letter to give a history of his development of the rhythm, which we now know as his original and innovative ‘Sprung Rhythm’, which he employed in many of his unique poems as a governing principle throughout. Although Hopkins dedicated his great ode to the Franciscan nuns, and commemorated them in it, the poem is as much a personal spiritual confessional as it is a memorial and through it we witness the dramatic personal impact of the moment of his conversion.

The Frown of his face Before me, the hurtle of hell
Behind, where, where was a, where was a place?
I whirled out wings that spell
And fled with a fling of the heart to the heart of the Host.
My heart, but you were dovewinged, I can tell,
Carrier-witted, I am bold to boast,
To flash from the flame to the flame then, tower from the grace to the grace (4)

The influence of Scotus

It was characteristic of Hopkins to study nature intently. He coined the words ‘Inscape’ and ‘Instress’ to describe the specific nature and essence of created things. He made detailed notes with sketches in his journal:

‘I do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell I have been looking at. I know the beauty of our Lord by it. Its inscape is mixed of strength and grace, like an ash tree.’

He drew extensively from nature to compose some of the most delightful and innovative poems in the English Language, such as God’s Grandeur, The Starlight Night, As kingfishers catch fire, Spring, The Sea and the Skylark, the Windhover, Pied Beauty and Hurrahing in Harvest to mention but few. He found a mirror for his ideas in the writings of Blessed Duns Scotus, the Franciscan philosopher. In his journal he records:

‘At this time I had first begun to get hold of the copy of Scotus on the Sentences in the Baddely library and was flush with a new stroke of enthusiasm. It may come to nothing or it may be a mercy from God. But just then when I took in any inscape of the sky or sea I thought of Scotus’.

He described Scotus, in his poem Duns Scotus’ Oxford, as ‘the rarest-veined unraveller.’ Hopkins’s persistent interest in Scotist doctrine got him into difficulties with his Jesuit examiners. St. Thomas Aquinas had become the official theologian of the Roman Catholic Church. Leo X111 named him the official guide to Catholic thinking in 1879. Contrary to his expectations, he was not promoted to a fourth year of theological studies after his ordination. Yet, despite this setback, he left St. Beuno’s to take up his priestly ministry with the reputation of being one of the best moral theologians among his contemporaries.

Social Justice

During the five years, which followed ordination (1877-82), Hopkins taught in Chesterfield and Stonyhurst and occupied several postings as acting curate at Mount Street, London, St. Aloysius’s church Oxford, St. Josephs Bedford Leigh, St. Francis Xavier’s Liverpool and St. Joseph’s in Glasgow. In the course of his priestly duties, in some of the most densely populated areas of Britain, he encountered at first hand the underbelly of the industrial revolution, which Charles Dickens had portrayed so vividly in his popular novels of the time. Hopkins developed an unrequited hunger and thirst for social justice and was plunged into the second great crisis of his life. No longer cloistered materially or spiritually, he became deeply shocked and greatly affected by the misery of the poor and the dirt and squalor surrounding them. In a letter to Baillie (22nd May 1880), he writes:

‘I am brought face to face with the deepest poverty and misery in my district. On this theme I could write much, but it would do no good’.

By this time the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx were causing some concern among the ruling classes. Hopkins, although he was coming from a different spiritual perspective, was not unaware of the threat to peace and stability as a result of deprivation among the large majority of the working class population. He had earlier confided privately in a letter to Robert Bridges (2nd August 1871):

‘I am afraid some great revolution is not far off. Horrible to say, in a manner I am a Communist … Besides it is just. – I do not mean the means of getting to it are. But it is a dreadful thing for the greatest and most necessary part of a very rich nation to live a hard life without dignity, knowledge, comforts, delight, or hopes in the midst of plenty – which plenty they make. They profess that they do not care what they wreck and burn; the old civilisation and order must be destroyed. This is a dreadful look out but what has the old civilisation done for them’ … ‘England has grown hugely wealthy but this wealth has not reached the working classes.’…

It is clear that that Hopkins, having such a culturally refined and sensitive nature, was genuinely affected by the breakdown of morality and the harsh social conditions which he witnessed. Fortunately, in 1882, he was given some brief respite when he was sent to teach classics at Stonyhurst College. He wrote hardly any poetry from 1880 until after he arrived in Dublin four years later.

‘Dark heaven’s baffling ban’

In 1884 Hopkins was headhunted by Fr. William Delaney S.J., President of the newly formed University College at No. 86, St. Stephens Green, (formerly Newman’s Catholic University) and appointed fellow in Classics and Professor of Greek and Latin, despite objections raised by Dr. William Walsh, President of Maynooth College. The circumstances of the row over his appointment and the political climate at the time were not conducive to making Hopkins, a loyal imperialist, feel welcome in Ireland. It was the aftermath of the Famine when the British Empire was seen as having failed Ireland miserably. The population of Ireland had been decimated from 8.5 million in 1845 to 6.5 million in 1851. Emigration was the only solution for many and families were broken up as those who could left to make a better life elsewhere in America and Australia. The people had become tired, dispirited and angry. Parnell was campaigning for Home Rule and Land League agitation was in full swing. Hopkins’s letters to Baillie, Bridges and his family during the period 1884-1889 reveal a fertile and creative literary mind but also show the enormous political, intellectual spiritual and physical challenges he was faced with during his term in Ireland. His health was beginning to suffer.

Hopkins wrote to Bridges shortly after he arrived in Ireland (July 18th, 1884):

‘The weakness I am suffering from … continues and I see no ground for thinking I can, for a long time to come, get notably better of it’ … ‘Your enquiries are very kind: there is no reason to be disquieted about me, though weakness is a very painful trial in itself. If I could have regular hard exercise it would be better for me.’

To his mother (Nov. 26th 1884) he wrote:

‘We have enemies here - indeed what is Ireland but an open or secret war of fierce enmities of every sort.’

To Baillie (April 1885) he remarked:

‘The melancholy I have all my life been subject to has become of late years not indeed more intense in its fits but rather more distributed, constant, and crippling …’

Hopkins’s appointment to U.C.D. had not yielded the job satisfaction he had expected and much of his time was spent in correcting hundreds of ill prepared exam papers in Classics. He was afflicted with scruples in this regard, and often agonised over awarding a quarter of a mark. In a letter to Dixon from Milltown Park, he writes

‘I have 557 papers on hand: let those who have been thro’ the like say what that means.’

Despite several good friendships, occasional contact with the Irish arts community (Yeats, Tynan, etc.); tours to Connemara, the cliffs of Moher, around the Irish countryside, and frequent breaks to Clongowes Wood College and the Cassidy family in Monasterevin, Hopkins’s health of body and spirit deteriorated. This emerges in his poetry of that period which is amongst the finest ever written in the English language, and records an intense ‘dark night of the soul’. Yet, despite his poetically expressed anguish, he was well equipped to be the doctor of his own spiritual condition through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He would have been fully familiar with the rules for the discernment of spirits, and would have known how to proceed in times of spiritual desolation. This did not, of course, obviate the intense suffering which he was to undergo in Christ. And yet, this last crisis of suffering was to be the powerful creative spring for the ‘terrible sonnets of desolation’ such as , Carrion Comfort, for which Hopkins was to become famous:

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist – slack they may be – these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? Lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? And fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! Lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? The hero whose heaven-handling flung me fóot tród
Me? Or me that fought him? O which one? Is it each one?
That night, that year Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) My God

Thomas Merton, an ardent fan of Hopkins, writes on the priesthood in a manner, which throws considerable light on the nature of the crisis, which Hopkins experienced. …

‘(The priests) vocation is to keep alive in the world the sanctity and the sanctifying power of the One High Priest, Jesus Christ. This explains the beauty and the terror of the priestly vocation’…‘He may feel in himself all the conflicts of human weakness and irresolution and dread, the anguish of uncertainty and helplessness and fear, the inescapable lure of passion. All that he hates in himself becomes more hateful to him, by reason of his close union with Christ. But also by reason of his very vocation he is forced to face resolutely the reality of sin in himself and in others. He is bound by his vocation to fight this enemy. He cannot avoid the battle. And it is a battle that he alone can never win. He is forced to let Christ Himself fight the enemy in him. He must do battle on the ground chosen not by himself but by Christ. That ground is the hill of Calvary and the Cross. For, to speak plainly, the priest makes no sense at all in the world except to perpetuate in it the sacrifice of the Cross, and to die with Christ on the Cross for the love of those whom God would have him save.’(6)

Desolation and Redemption

In July 1888, Hopkins received inspiration to write one of his most remarkable sonnets entitled: That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of The Comfort of the Resurrection. He spent the following Christmas (his last) at the Cassidy house in Monasterevin and in January 1889 went to nearby Rahan to make his annual retreat. The melancholy, which had accompanied Hopkins all his life, was now to reach a new climax and torment him to unbearable proportions. In his retreat notes he wrote:

‘I could therefore do no more than repeat Justus es, Domine, et rectum judicium tuum and the like, … What is my wretched life? Five wasted years almost have passed in Ireland. I am ashamed of the little I have done, of my waste of time, although my helplessness and weakness is such that I could scarcely do otherwise.’ … ‘All my undertakings miscarry: I am like a straining eunuch. I wish then for death: yet if I died now I should die imperfect, no master of myself, and that is the worst failure of all. O my God, look down on me.’

His next poem, ‘Thou art indeed just, Lord’ dated the 17th March 1889, ends with a poetic repetition of his last desperate plea:

…birds build-but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

This was to be one of the last poems he would write.

Hopkins fell seriously ill from typhoid fever and died on 8th June 1889 with his mother and father present. He was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin Cemetery. On the death of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Publication and Fame

Hopkins had obviously given careful consideration to the possible need to publish his work but confined his efforts to sending his trusted friend Robert Bridges copies of everything he wrote. The one exercise he consistently engaged in was to conform to God’s will in all things, to act always out of his deeply contemplative nature for the greater glory of God. Following ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’, he continued throughout his priesthood to write poetry as inspiration came. His letters to Bridges, Dixon and Patmore, contain a wealth of discerning literary criticism and sometimes keenly religious thought, as to Bridges (Oct.13 1886):

‘What are works of art for? To educate, to be standards’ … ‘To produce then is of little use unless what we produce is known, if known widely known, the wider known the better, for it is by being known it works, it influences, it does its duty, it does good’… ‘Art and its fame do not really matter, spiritually they are nothing, virtue is the only good;’ … ‘I apply to them, and it is the true rule for dealing with them, what Christ our Lord said of virtue, Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works (say, of art) and glorify yr. Father in heaven (that is, acknowledge that they have an absolute excellence in them and are steps in a scale of infinite and inexhaustible excellence)’…

The issue of the publication of his poetry was one to which Hopkins was forced to give due consideration but he knew that his innovative and original poetic voice would meet with a certain resistance from conventional readers with its sprung rhythm, sound patterning, and stressing techniques. He knew that his verse had to be studied and recited before it could be properly understood. He also hoped that the time would come for his verses to reach an appreciative audience. In response to his friend Richard Watson Dixon’s repeated pleading that he should publish he wrote (Dec. 1 1881):

‘When a man has given himself to God’s service, when he has denied himself and followed Christ, he has fitted himself to receive and does receive from God a special guidance, a more particular providence.’ … ‘Now if you value what I write, if I do myself, much more does our Lord. And if he chooses to avail himself of what I leave at his disposal he can do so with a felicity and with a success which I could never command.’ … ‘to live by faith is harder, is very hard; nevertheless by God’s help I shall always do so.’

But it was not until 1918, in the aftermath of the First World War, that his friend and literary executor Robert Bridges published the first edition of Hopkins poetry. It met with an admiring readership, which included many discerning poets and critics such as I.A.Richards, W.H.Auden and Robert Graves. The time for his verses had come and his creative genius, which had been hidden in the spiritual world of The Society of Jesus, now became manifest to the world. Hopkins’s best poems are living works of art. As W.H. Gardner said

‘No one can really know him with acquiring a higher standard of poetic beauty, a sharper vision of the world and a deeper sense of the underlying spiritual reality.’

On July 30th 1994, I attended a special Choral Evensong at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Haslemere, Surrey to mark the 150th anniversary the poet’s birth. I couldn’t help but admire a wonderful stained glass window erected to the memory of two great poets associated with the locality: Alfred Lord Tennyson and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Tennyson’s window depicted the following text:

‘I Galahad saw the grail/ the holy grail descend upon the shrine
and in the strength of this
shattering all evil customs everywhere.’

Hopkins’s window depicted one of the Beatitudes:

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God’

Elaine Murphy L.G.S.M. Milltown Park Conference 5th October 2002 Elaine Murphy is a Licentiate of the London Guildhall School of Music & Drama, a founder member of The Gerard Manley Hopkins Society and an organiser of the Gerard Manley Hopkins International


1 God's Grandeur

All poetry quotations are taken from - THE POEMS OF GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS Edited by W.H. Gardner and N.H. MacKenzie. Reprinted 1970; Oxford University Press; ISBN 0-19-281094 – 4

2. All quotations from letters are taken from GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS SELECTED LETTERS Edited by Catherine Phillips, 1991 Oxford University Press: 1991. ISBN 0-19 -282818 –5 

3. God’s Grandeur  P.146, The Journals and Papers of Gerard Manley Hopkins edited by Humphry House and Graham Storey Oxford University Press, 1966. 

The Journals and Papers of Gerard Manley Hopkins edited by Humphry House and Graham Storey Oxford University Press, 1966. 

4. The Wreck of the Deutschland  The Journals and Papers of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Edited by Humphry House and completed by Graham Storey. Oxford University Press 1966. 

5. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND : Chapter 8.11 Vocation. Thomas Merton ISBN 0 86012 004 X 

6. The Sermons and Devotional Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Edited by Christopher Devlin. Oxford University Press 1959



Correspondence of Gerard Manley Hopkins| Baudelaire, Hopkins and Egan | Desiderata | Hopkins Sermons : Bruno Gaurier | Re-Reading The Wreck |