Hopkins Lectures 2009






























































































































“The Terrible Sonnets,” An Articulate Scream?

Ciaran O Hare

Depression scourged Hopkins during his first year in Dublin. He felt alienated and lonely despite his communications with Bridges, Baillie, Dixon and Patmore


Hopkins had been approached, in December 1883 by Fr. William Delany, the Jesuit President of University College Dublin, to take up the post of junior professor of classics at the college. However this was no straight- forward offer and as Hopkins told Bridges “there was an Irish row over my election.”1

The row centred on a power struggle over the running of third level education for Irish Roman Catholics but it also involved a racial dislike of Englishmen in Irish institutions. The distrust the local bishops had for the Jesuits themselves (questioning as they did their loyalty to diocesan authority) was yet another factor in the political row into which Hopkins had been unwittingly plunged. The Jesuits had been asked to take over Newman’s old Catholic University of Ireland, which had all but collapsed, and Fr. Delany as President set about appointing scholars from the province irrespective of their nationality. This was against the advice of his Provincial who cautioned that Newman’s efforts had foundered on the same rock. Delany argued that there were just not enough Irishmen trained to an appropriate degree for university professorship. There was also an economical consideration in employing a Jesuit, in that the £400 fellowship that was awarded for the post would go straight into the college’s income. Fr.Delany had approached the English Provincial Fr. Purbrick regarding the availability of seven scholars in his authority but was informed that only Hopkins could be spared. Hopkins’s appointment did not go unopposed but he was nevertheless appointed with only three votes against him. Dr. William Walsh and Cardinal McCabe who opposed the appointment both resigned from the senate in protest.

It was amidst this controversy that Hopkins arrived in Dublin a week later and had taken up residence at No. 86 St. Stephen’s Green. He was not inspired by the city and in a letter to Bridges his first impressions of Dublin reflected this “Dublin is a joyless place and I think in my heart as smoky as London is; I had fancied it quite different.”2

As a teacher had already been appointed at the start of the year to do his teaching he found that for the rest of the academic year he would be marking examination papers, This was a substantial task as it involved several thousand scripts and for an already depressed Hopkins the poor standard of the work in this dolorous task did little to alleviate his condition. Thrust into a world that was foreign and antagonistic to him, Hopkins was aware of the sense of permanence of this appointment, and that he would only be moved if his superiors wished it. In March 1884 his depression worsened. Whilst writing to Bridges on Odes and Eclogue, a book sent to him by Dixon he suddenly writes in capitals: “AND WHAT DOES ANYTHING AT ALL MATTER?”

Later, he continues,

“I am in great weakness. I cannot spend more time writing now,” (3)

On April 30th after congratulating Bridges on his engagement he explains, “I am I believe, recovering from a deep fit of nervous prostration (I suppose I ought to call it): I did not know it but I was dying.” (4)

Depression had scourged Hopkins during 1884, his first year in Dublin, and he felt alienated and lonely despite his communications with Bridges, Baillie, Dixon and Patmore. For the first time he was experiencing a type of passion and suffering he had not sought, one that he would have to endure alone without countenancing the supporting omnipotence of his God who now seemed notably absent.

As both a precursor and a contribution to the “terrible sonnets,” 'Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves’ provides a valuable insight. It is here Hopkins abandons his usual two-part structure where the octet describes the scene and the narrator’s involvement in it, and the sestet then takes a Christian context in order to draw a lesson in the Divine from nature. The abandoning of this teacher pupil relationship allows the association between nature and the narrator to be completely integrated into the poem’s structure. The poem was dated somewhere between October 15th and December 20th 1884 but not completed until two years later, and on November 26th 1886 Hopkins wrote to Bridges, “I have at last completed but not quite finished the longest sonnet ever made and no doubt the longest making. It is in eight foot lines and essays effects almost musical.”5

However the rubato-like rhythm echoing the old hymn from the burial mass “Dies Irae,” did little to diminish the apocalyptic theme of the poem. Indeed it may have cultivated the seeds of despair in Hopkins, as it heralded the disintegration of his belief structure and the disappearance of God.

The evening sunset triggers a Sibylline portent of the final Judgement Day in which Hopkins has pieced together fragments of hellish experiences during his recent past to reveal his own inner turmoil. This left him unable to externalise his thoughts or see anything objectively. It was conceived at the end of 1884 at a time when Hopkins was going through one of his most serious periods of depression: he was beginning to doubt, not only himself, but the value of his religious profession. His persona was reflected in the poem that now demonstrated more than just a natural scene and its doctrinal message. Here now stood the poetic effigy of pessimism, melancholy and the ultimate fatalism of Judgement Day torturously racked out from five feet to the excruciating octameter.

There is no confidence here in the afterlife or joyous resolution in the final lines. Central to Hopkins’s early beliefs were two convictions that God informed the structure of nature and that the Incarnation was infused in all creation. This philosophy suffered great damage when he realised that the doctrines of immanence and apocalypse were mutually exclusive. Gone was the poet’s Scotist delight in the Incarnation that was inherent in the temporal world, as faith in the Apocalypse insisted that the desired immanence of the Holy Spirit was still distant, and therefore God’s Incarnation through nature had not happened yet. Everything was mortal and therefore subject to corruption.

“For earth/ her being has unbound; her dapple is at an end, as-
tray or aswarm, all throughther, in throngs;/ self ín self
steepéd and páshed- qúite

Dísremembering, dísmémbering/ áll now. Heart, you round
me right
With: Óur evening is over us; óur night/ whélms, whelms,
ánd will end us. (ls.5-8)

The shattering of this belief, which had been the chief preoccupation of Hopkins’s poetic life and the ráison detre for most of his work, would signal his own self-examination and the beginnings of his plunge into despair.

What Hopkins went through can be seen in the “Terrible Sonnets,” written in 1885 during Hopkins’s own “dark night of the soul.”6 Although there is debate over the exact sequence of the poems and indeed the significance given to some interpretations of that sequence,7 I have not given preference here to any particular order. I have chosen to take a personal random view in order to avoid creating significance that may colour and personalise the debate. However there is no argument over the intensity of the spiritual and psychological experience Hopkins endured.

What characterises “the terrible sonnets,” is the paradoxical quality of bleak desolation expressed in some of the most creative, poignant and exacting language ever managed in the sonnet form. Hopkins’s examination of what today could in religious terms be described as self and soul is like no other in poetic history. The question of self-identity is of paramount importance in these poems as Hopkins experiences the loss of a spiritual self, leaving only the frail and weak reality that was Hopkins the man. Capable only of struggling to measure the intensity of his suffering the poet nevertheless through his scrupulous creativity still manages to frame and contemplate the potential of some of the most psychologically injurious experiences ever accepted. I believe this was an acceptance only possible because of his attraction to suffering, and through these poems he would begin to experience agony without reason, desolation without the patronage of a God and a society that accepted the belief, that accrued pain offered both lionisation and reward. At some level this was I feel a condition the poet himself demanded.

'To Seem the Stranger’ is a cry of isolation from Hopkins. His separation from those who were dear to him is difficult and hard to bear. “I am in Ireland now; now I am at a third/ Remove” He has been removed from his beloved England by his religion. Removed from his family by his priesthood, and eventually removed to Ireland, the “third Remove.” The fatalistic tone of the poem reflects the cry of a priest who feels his life has been spent in vain. He is now fated to be a stranger among strangers and this is a poem concerned with people and his lack of contact with others. There is no mention of Christ or nature in the sonnet and although he can petition heaven about his failure to create, there is no one with whom he can share his frustration. He must “hoard” it “unheard.”

There is no longer an ecstatic rush to experience God as in earlier poems, and the mood is epitomised in the break in “wear-/y” in lines 7 and 8, drawing out the word thus emphasising the speaker’s moral fatigue. Even word positions form a diagram of his situation as: “my lot my life” is sandwiched between “stranger” and “strangers” highlighting the speaker’s impotence in the middle. Hopkins has at last seen the contemporary world and has realised how apart his has been from it. The poem goes on to outline his lifelong progress. from the separation from his family “Father and mother dear, Brothers and sisters are in Christ not near,” to his present isolation. T

The rhythmic quality of the poem echoes the nature poems in so far as they both build up to an ecstatic affirmation, but this poem falls into hollowness and rejection. The universal issues of family, religion and patriotism suffer the same fate, all being rejected by negatives, leaving only his own loneliness and despair. Some see the line “would neither hear me were I pleading,” as a reference to the rejection of 'The Wreck of the Deutschland', and ‘The Loss of the Eurydice’,8 by the Month, causing him to use the sonnet as his verse form, when he was capable of invention and creativity that could have pushed the boundaries of poetic experimentation and achievement. His description of himself as “a lonely began” underlines his inability to finish projects and further heightens his chagrin against his Jesuit censors, representing heaven’s will, and a fatalistic impression that he will never see anything worthwhile to a completion, a sentiment echoed in a letter to Baillie,
“I see no ground for thinking I shall ever get over it or ever succeed in doing anything that is not forced on me to do of any consequence.”9

His creative suffering and his depression are encapsulated in the poignant final lines “This to hoard unheard, Heard unheeded, leaves me a lonely began.”

Hopkins’s isolation in Dublin was the catalyst for a spiritual abandonment. The jubilation he had once gained from his self-immolation in God’s incarnation in nature has disappeared and the speaker reverts to psychological self-laceration and the claustrophobic incarceration of the psyche in the “terrible sonnets.” There is still an essence of attraction to this suffering as in his earlier work. He has arrived at this point physically and psychologically devastated but nevertheless still able to endure and recreate that despair, due to the fact that his scrupulous and exacting mind has recorded his sufferings but has never lost control. His tremendous will to resist had not totally deserted him even though the Scotist doctrine from which he had drawn his strength was no longer tenable for him. Hopkins’s acceptance of the Apocalypse in ‘Spelt From Sibyl’s’ Leaves not only marked the rejection for him of the immanence of God but it made the use of poetry as a conduit to his Saviour invalid. The fact that the infusion of God’s being in every aspect of nature was no longer an emotional reality for Hopkins, though he steadfastly maintained it in principle, is obvious from his sense of devastating grief and loss.

“Comforter where is your comfort?”
No Worst There is None

“And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.”
I Wake And Feel

The “terrible sonnets” therefore are not didactic but are an emotive account of Hopkins’s own state of despair. The effect of the disappearance of God on Hopkins’s poetry was devastating. His naturalistic observation was based on a transcendental, metaphysical foundation and when this dissolved, his images, and the perception through which they were rendered, could no longer be maintained. All that was left was his intense will to resist, born out of his attraction to suffering.

‘No Worst There is None’ shows the depths and the limitlessness of the protagonist’s mental anguish. It is a poem without hope that tries to identify the limits of extremity only to find out that there are no limits. Hopkins fails here not only to find a limit, but also to define it, hoping that through its definition he will be able to control and subdue this suffering. Even in the title his first attempt is unsuccessful “No Worst,” two negatives, make a positive “is” but that is itself a negative, “none.” This only leads to more confusion. “Pitched past pitch,” describes a limitless ascending scale as in music where eventually the scale becomes unbearable, but this does not stop the scale of mental anguish continuing on an upward ascent increasing in intensity. This greater intensity is “schooled at forepangs, wilder wring,” suggesting again incrementally increasing and endless suffering. The agonised invocation “Comforter, where, where is your comforting?” posits the protagonist’s composition of place, centred in the agony of unanswered suffering. In his attempt at colloquy God is not mentioned and ironically it is the absence of colloquy that is both spiritually and formally the cause of his suffering. Having turned to Mary the mother of God for relief he is again denied, and the speaker reverts back to self-definition as beast and thing. “My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing”(ls.5-6)

Instead of the voice of his Saviour there is only the pagan voice of Fury, which, devoid of any compassion, offers only more suffering and even the contemplation of suicide.

“Fury had shrieked “No ling-
ering! Let me be féll: force I must be brief.” (ls.7-8)

Suicide had been on Hopkins’s mind as shown by a meditation on the Gadarene swine and the possessed man who was tortured by devils10 The protagonist now finds himself in a world dominated by a cacophony of pagan voices as he undergoes his agony. With no turn in the argument, once the protagonist has been abandoned by Christ, the solipsistic imagery of the mountains indicates total emptiness, and the abrupt shift from the valley to the mountains suggests a mind cascading to the depths, totally unhinged by the destruction of values so passionately held. The allusion of the Temptation of Christ is apparent but the speaker is so decimated that any thoughts of throwing himself down are averted by no greater motive than self-preservation and without worry of tempting God by committing suicide, he remains alive to be assaulted.

“Here! Creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.”

However even here at probably Hopkins’s lowest point, in the midst of all this suffering and having plunged to the depths of his emotional despair, some things remain patently obvious to the reader: his will to endure, the complexity of his thought processes and the artistry of his language. They have remained undiminished by the desolation Hopkins was describing, and so the question of moral masochism has again to be faced. Is it possible that Hopkins’s scream of despair can still be articulate? Is this not a contradiction? Desolation and despair by their very nature disable any creative force, making it impossible to produce anything of quality, depth or insight. How then does Hopkins produce probably the most potent works of his life at a time when he is apparently on a journey through hell and incapacitated by desolation? There is no such thing as an articulate scream, and judging by Hopkins’s measured and precise response to his state of mind, he had never lost control of his faculties. In the light of the amendments and revisions Hopkins made to the “terrible sonnets” his claim that some of them came “like inspirations unbidden against my will”11 seems not entirely factual as these inspirations were worked and tended with the scrupulous skill and artistry of a poet drawn and devoted to his muse.

‘No Worst There Is None’ is a recording of an examination of desolation. It is a scrupulous research into the limitless range of despair rather than an experience of the despair itself. Hopkins is here trying to measure rather than record the experience.

“pitched past pitch of grief,”
“O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.”

He tries to encompass his understanding of this depression through the definition of its limits and although this is fruitless there remains here an allure to the “mastery of the thing,” which appeals to Hopkins’s predisposition for domination seen previously in ‘The Windhover’. There is a similar attraction to the power of God in stanza sixteen of The Wreck of the Deutschland as the un-named sailor is discarded as flotsam in the poet’s exhilaration in the potency of his Almighty. Hopkins is drawn to articulating a scale of dominating power, in this case the literal depths of depression. Behind his desolation there is a sense of awe and submissiveness to the power that entices and overwhelms him.

The first line of ‘I wake and feel the fell of dark’ is almost a reply to the last line of ‘No Worst There Is None’ and although a more personal and individual poem, it returns to the same set of experiences. Again the protagonist finds that pain is beyond definition and he goes on to report his defeat in the conflict. The physical darkness is replaced by mental darkness as the narrator spirals into a claustrophobic anguish that unfolds into further dimensions of limitless suffering over which he seemingly has no control.

“But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament

He has unsuccessfully appealed to his traditional source of inspiration “dearest him that lives alas away,” and now finds himself isolated and alone. His own self-defilement in the next lines underscores his acquiescence to the “deep decree,” which God has imposed on him. However the vigour with which he pursues the description does suggest a search for his own personal Passion.12

“I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;

His association with the damned in the penultimate line underlines his masochistic traits, as he

“I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be

The fact that he has sought and accepted the decree all his life and has submitted to and actively encouraged the torments involved for me negates any question of Christian justice for the innocent. At the end of this sonnet there is no flicker of relief and no hope of comfort that for Hopkins, may well have been reward in itself. Control is at the core of ‘Carrion Comfort’. It is the poem (according to Bridges) to which Hopkins’s famous lament referres

Hopkins revisits the inter-twined rope metaphor seen in ‘Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves’,

“Off her once skéined stained veined variety/ upon, áll on twó
spools; part, pen, pack”(l. 11)

and used also in The Wreck of the Deutschland

“Thou hast bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh,”(l.5)

The strands here are used to bind man’s moral being together and it is Hopkins who must keep them joined. The poem begins with the protagonist’s struggle to preserve his humanity in order to combat despair, comparing himself to a starving man tempted to feed on putrid flesh. By externalising despair and making it outside the poet’s own identity Hopkins can confront his depression and face his poisonous attraction. The poet has identified his demons and can see that he can, only through an effort of will, resist the temptation to inflict his own suffering. It is ironic that throughout his life his will to resist usually led him to embrace desperation and suffering but now it is seen as a way to avoid it and hold his moral fibre and humanity together.

“Not untwist- slack they may be- these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;”(ls.2-3)

Hopkins realises however that practical opposition is difficult since the struggle is a mental one and that the answers lie in the attitude of mind adopted, “hope,” “wish,” “not choose not to be.” The poet is also aware that to despair would be to abandon any potential for success and accept failure as an expression of his humanity thus stifling his remaining life-force, his will to resist.

Despair is addressed in the first quatrain and the ambiguity of whether it is still despair or whether “thou terrible” refers to God is a feature of the second quatrain. The giant unrecognised adversary whose blows are a metaphor for Hopkins’s sufferings in Ireland shows his unequalled superiority in the second quatrain. Although his parries are effortless, the poet’s bones are still “bruised” as the “terrible” eyes “scan” and “devour” him. To Hopkins his adversary remains inscrutable, so much so that he wants to run and flee. It is only in the sestet that the question “why,” is answered. This beating is a winnowing “That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.” Hopkins misery in Ireland is a test of faith but just as he is about to embrace this enlightenment he falters, and slips into his old habit of self-denial.

“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.”

God is seen here in many different guises. As well as the lion, the wind, wrestler, hero and giant, He is also a python seen in the allusion to “coil”, and strength giving water. The rod and the hand of a master which Hopkins the grateful servant kisses is perhaps the most telling of these images portraying as it does his personal fascination. However all these images underline once again Hopkins’s need to be dominated and his attraction to that power of mastery. His guilt at relishing strength when he could find it, stolen joy and desired laughter is evident as he questions the correctness of even these small pleasures, Hopkins’s tendency for moral masochism rises once again to the surface and plunges him once again into the abyss of desolation. In the last lines he tries to end the experience by dispatching it to the past but fails, as the “night” becomes a “year” of darkness and the identity of his adversary becomes apparent (“my God!) my God.”

The juxtaposition of oath and allegiance, phonetically identical, but semantically opposite, highlights the struggle that has gone on throughout the poem and illustrates Hopkins’s attraction to that struggle epitomised by the biblical allusion both to the crucifixion and to Jacob. In his realization that it has been God he has been fighting he is drawn to his recurring disposition that he has shared in the privilege of being crucified with Christ echoing the dying words of his Saviour “my God! my God,” recording his sense of joy in submission. Hopkins can also be seen as Jacob wrestling with the severity and sacrifice of his faith and a quest for an acceptance of his personal need for that sacrifice.

‘Patience, hard thing!’ may well have had its origins in the Ignatian teaching on dealing with periods of spiritual desolation,14 but its concentration on suffering cannot be ignored. The poem offers a repeated antithesis and outlines the struggle between the heart’s unwillingness to go through the trials to gain patience and the mind’s steadfast resolution to visualize that achievement. The contradictory aspects of mood, imagery and rhythm in the poem and the abrupt transitions between each of the quatrains and the final tercet highlight the central image of “hearing our hearts grate against themselves.” The penance of life for which patience is the balm is epitomised in the first lines.

“Patience, hard thing! The hard thing but to pray,
But bid for, Patience is! Patience who asks
Wants war, wants wounds; weary his times, his tasks;
To do without, take tosses, and obey.” (ls.1-4)

In asking for patience Hopkins is also relishing the reasons for which patience is necessary he wants war and wounds. Using frequent harsh dentals, full stops, exclamations, monosyllables and end stop punctuation he wears his suffering and self-abnegation as a badge of honour and needs patience to strengthen his will to resist, illustrating again his usual moral fastidiousness and masochistic personality. Hopkins’s search for the experience of the Passion of Christ is alluded to here again in the word patience itself, as is seen in the Latin derivation patiens meaning suffering and also the Passion of Christ. Hopkins is searching to relive that “Patience exquisite,” which the Lord had left behind in the curtal sonnet Peace15 his use of the Latin here intimating that he was aware both of the Passion derivation and subsequently betraying his own attraction to it.

The frequent sibilants and polysyllables, and the scarcity of punctuation, combined with the prosaic rhythm and liquid l’s and r’s contrast the second quatrain with the first. The tone may be less abrasive but the message is still dominated by suffering and endurance which patience the “Natural heart’s ivy,” masks while dressing “the ruins of wrecked past purpose.” thus giving them a sense of honour and acceptance. The emotional strain of the speaker in learning patience is graphically described as he pushes his pain past endurance.

“Yet the rebellious wills
Of us we do bid God bend to him even so.”(ls. 10-11)

Hopkins’s determination to lay siege against his own nature and damage and “bruise” his own heart and the violence of his appeal to God to “bend to him even so” indicates clearly his obsession with pain and suffering as a means to securing salvation. This to him was only tenable through patience and therefore through the suffering that was invariably linked with that gift.

“Patience fills
His crisp combs, and that comes those ways we know.” (ls. 13-14)

My own heart let me more have pity on, is at first sight a recognition at last by Hopkins that he has been too hard upon his “poor Jackself.” He is effectively asking his masochistic will to release his heart from the suffering it has inflicted. At the start of the poem he lives not a life but a “tormented mind,” constantly tyrannised by his own self-denial.

“My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind

It is interesting to note that even in his request for release Hopkins, in this opening quatrain employs the most violent distortions of language. The tension in the passage derives from strict syntax, unnatural order and displacement. Elizabeth Schneider maintains that the passage translates,

“Let me live, hereafter kind, charitable, to my sad self; yet live yet (“yet” as in the sense of “still” “continually”) tormenting (no. 3) this tormented (no.1) mind with (“by means of”) this tormented (no.2) mind: the words that would normally have followed the second “live” have been placed last; “tormenting yet” is adjectival and parallel in construction with the preceding “kind”; the rest fal

However what is important here is the fact that while Hopkins is urging a call away from self-torture, he is subliminally distorting and torturing the language and syntax indicating that his psyche is still entrenched in his old habits. Ironically in the next lines his “tormented mind” reminds him that like patience in the last poem, comfort is also hard to find.

The sestet is moulded from these distortions in a more light-hearted and colloquial tone with the depreciatory “Jackself” and the hound allusion in “call off” as well as the punning of “God knows” as in “God knows when,” but there is a sense of fabrication in this self-imposed comfort as if the poet is attempting to manufacture serenity through idiomatic colloquialisms in spite of the opinions in the second quatrain. The sudden unpremeditated appearance of God in the colloquy is the most casual in all of Hopkins’s canon, and appears artificial rather than inspirational as if by going through the motions he could again capture the comfort he sought. The coming of joy remains a future possibility and therefore a present fiction as he realises that his previous penances had left no “root-room” for comfort. The apparent resolution through an indirect colloquy with God is superimposed in a half-hearted effort to find serenity for his soul, a soul perhaps too comfortable with the war-weariness of self-torment to respond properly to the respite the poet now needs. It was a condition which would ultimately prove fatal for Hopkins removing as it did the positive mindset necessary for physical recovery.


1. L1. p. 191 March 7 th 1884.

2. L1.p.190 March 7 th 1884

3 L1. p. 192. April 16 th 1884.

4 Ibid.p. 192. April 30 th 1884.

5 L1. p. 245 26 th Nov.1886.

6 St. John of the Cross, E. Alison Peers (ed.) and ( trans.) Dark Night of the Soul . (New York: Doubleday, 1959),p.44

7 Daniel A. Harris, Inspirations Unbidden, The Terrible Sonnets Of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982) pps. 8-14. Harris maintains that as well as imposing a progressive literary sequence, some critics have also imposed a doctrinaire Christian narrative based on an Ignatian type trial where Hopkins progresses through his torment to eventually survive intact at the end. In other words they designed the sequence to fit their religious beliefs. He concludes that the major revisions of "To Seem A Stranger," combined with other evidence constructed from folio 35 make any sequence as valid as any other

8 Norman White, Hopkins in Ireland (Dublin: University college Dublin Press, 2002) p. 59.

9 F.L. p.256 June 1885

10 S. p.259 Jan.19 th , 1885. In another essay around the same time Hopkins wrote defining Right and Sin he used self-preservation and self-destruction as examples. The Hopkins Research Bulletin , July 1976 quoted in N White. Hopkins in Ireland p.63

11 L1 p. 221 Sept 1 1885

12 Psalm 69. The Book of Common Prayer quoted in White Norman Hopkins in Ireland (Dublin: U.C.D. Press, 2002) p.81. The quotation goes "I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man, neither found I any to comfort me. They gave me gall to eat,"

13 L1. p.219 17 th , May, 1885.

14 St. Ignatius of Loyola Spiritual Exercises "Rules for the Discernment of Spirits" P.109

15 P. Page 58 l. 8 16 Elizabeth Schneider The Dragon at the Gate P.160.


Hopkins Texts Abbott, Claude Colleer (ed.) The Letters of Gerard Manley Hopkins to Robert Bridges, (London: Oxford University Press, 1935)

Abbott, Claude Colleer (ed.) The Correspondence of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Richard Watson Dixon (London: Oxford University Press, 1935)

Abbot, Claude Colleer (ed . ) Further Letters of Gerard Manley Hopkins including Correspondence with Coventry Patmore ( London: Oxford University Press, 1938)

Bridges, Robert (ed.) Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (London: Oxford University Press, 1918)

Devlin, Christopher S.J. (ed.) The Sermons and Devotional Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959)

Gardner, W.H. and The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins , N.H. Mackenzie, (eds.) Fourth Edition (London: Oxford, University Press, 1967)

Phillips, Catherine (ed.) Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Selection of His Finest Poems (Oxford: OxforUniversity Press, 1995)

Van de Weyer, R. (ed.) The Complete Poems with Selected Prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins (London: Harper Collins, 1996)

Secondary Texts

Bergonzi, Bernard Gerard Manley Hopkins (Hong Kong:The Macmillan Press, 1977)

Corbishly, Thomas S.J. trans. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius ofLoyola (New York: P.J. Kennedy, 1963)

Cotter, James Finn Inscape: The Christology and Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.1972)

Fennell, Francis, L. (ed.) Rereading Hopkins: Selected New Essays (Victoria: University of Victoria Press, 1996)

Fulweiler, Howard, J. Letters from the Darkling Plain: Language and the Grounds of
Knowledge in the Poetry of Arnold and Hopkins (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1972)

Heuser, Alan. The Shaping Vision of Gerard Manley Hopkins, (London: Oxford University Press, 1958)

Harris, Daniel A. Inspirations Unbidden: The “Terrible Sonnets” of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.1982)

Kenny, Anthony God and Two Poets: Arthur Hugh Clough and Gerard Manley Hopkins (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1988)

Kitchen, Paddy Gerard Manley Hopkins (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1978)

Mariani, Paul L. A Commentary on the Complete Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (New York: Cornell University Press, 1970)

Martin, Robert Bernard Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Very Private Life (London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991)

Milroy, James The Language of Gerard Manley Hopkins (London: Andre Deutsch, 1977)

Milward, P. S.J. and Readings of the Wreck: Essays in Schoder, R. S.J. (eds.) Commemoration of the Centenary of G. M. Hopkins’ The Wreck of the Deutschland (New York: Loyola University Press, 1976)

St. John of the Cross Dark Night of the Soul (New York: Doubleday, Peers E.(ed.) and trans. 1959.)

Jung, Karl Storr, A. (ed.) Selected Writings (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1989)

Pick, John Gerard Manley Hopkins: Priest and Poet (London: Oxford University Press, 1942)

Roberts, Gerard Gerard Manley Hopkin:, A Literary Life (London: Macmillan Press, 1994)

Robinson, John In Extremity: A Study of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978)

Schneider, Elizabeth W. The Dragon in the Gate: Studies in the Poetry of G. M. Hopkins (Berkeley and Los

Angeles: University of California Press, 1968)

Storey, Graham A Preface to Hopkins (New York: Longman, 1981)

Sulloway, Alison G. Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Victorian Temper (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972)

Walhout, Donald Send My Roots Rain: A Study of Religious Experience in the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Columbus: Ohio University Press, 1981)

Weyand, Norman S.J. Immortal Diamond: Studies in Gerard Manley Hopkins (London: Sheed and Ward, 1949)

White, Norman Hopkins in Ireland (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2002)
White, Norman Hopkins A Literary Biography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992)

Links to 2009 Hopkins Festival Lectures

New Testament and Hopkins Poetry || The Terrible Sonnets || Seamus Heaney and Gerard Manley Hopkins || The Kingfisher as Symbol in Hopkins Poetry