Gerard Hopkins and Robert Bridges might be considered an odd couple, physically very unalike and divided by many psychological and religious differences, and not least by their approach to and understanding of poetry. But despite this, the friendship that began at Oxford University in 1863 was to last twenty-six years, right up until Hopkins’ death in 1889.
Hopkins’ relationship with Bridges is readily accessible to us, as the letters he wrote to him provide a detailed view of the nature of his friendship.
Read more about Gerard Hopkins and Robert Bridges here
A short consideration of the concepts Hacceitas, Pitch, Inscape and Instress throws light for Eamon Kiernan, on Hopkins' sacramental aspiration as a poet.
Kiernan draws on the Medieval German mystic, Meister Eckhart and to the reception of German Idealism in Nineteenth Century Oxford, through which Eckhart's influence might have penetrated to Hopkins. This Eckhartian echo yields an interesting perspective on Gerard Hopkins as a poet of sacramental poems and as a soon-to-be Catholic priest.
Reading Hopkins over the years, I have been struck by the exact and exacting standards by which he judged certain works of art and literature. Clearly, he integrated these standards with his creative work as a poet and his priestly activities as a Jesuit. His had a dedicated and perceptive mind; a purity of heart. He explored his world with the delicate refinement of an Oxford scholar and truthful, vigorous intellect. ‘There was single eye’. .. Read more
In Hopkins’s surviving sermons, the word ‘love’ appears 125 times.1 Of course, this statistic doesn’t include variations such as ‘loved’, ‘loveable’, ‘lover’, ‘loving’, etc. – just the word ‘love’. It’s for this and other reasons that I have long been interested in Hopkins’s views and experiences of love. I am especially interested in the love that he actively cultivated, celebrated and felt was requited, which is his love for Christ. I came to the conclusion that Hopkins’s conversion was one of his most romantic acts.
For 42 years, American poet Emily Dickinson and English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins were alive at the same time, from his birth in 1844 until her death in 1886. Both were decidedly imaginative writers, each of whom developed a highly inventive style unique to themselves and almost impossible to duplicate. Neither knew of the other’s existence. Both struggled with despondency, and both found peace of mind in the cultivation of an exquisite lyrical art form ...
read more about the Church of England When Hopkins left it
According to Crane’s (and Hopkins’) biographer Paul Mariani of Boston College, it was fellow poet and literary critic Yvor Winters who introduced the younger Crane to the reclusive Jesuit. In December 1927, Winters read The Wreck of the Deutschland and other poems to Crane, who responded enthusiastically: [a letter to Winters, January 28 1928] “It is a revelation to me—of unrealized possibilities. I did not know that words could come so near a transfiguration to pure musical notation—at the same time retaining every minute literal signification! What a man—and what daring!” (Crane 568). Crane was so taken by the reclusive Jesuit poet that he borrowed Winters’ copy of Robert Bridges’ published collection of Hopkins’ poems, threatening that he might not ever return it unless he could find a copy of his own. ...
read Robert Smart's Hart Crane and Hopkins here
That is a poem of Wallace Stevens, entitled ‘Angel Surrounded by Paysans,’ and he commented on this poem in one of his letters (No.831 of his Collected Letters, I had better say, since I am probably surrounded here by more pernickety scholars than paysans). Here is what he wrote: ‘In Angel Surrounded by Paysans the angel is the angel of reality. This is clear only if the hearer is of the idea that we live in the world of the imagination, in which reality and contact with it are the great blessings. For nine readers out of ten, the necessary angel will appear to be the angel of the imagination and for nine days out of ten that is true, although it is the tenth day that counts.’ What happens, then, on the tenth day? ...
Read James Mackey's lecture on the Poet as Prophet here
This paper will attempt to recover the origins of Hopkins’s idea of particularity in his notion of the subjective nature of the human self. I begin with a famous letter written to Bridges in February 1879, where Hopkins attempts to justify the obscurities of his poetic style, stating: “No doubt my poetry errs on the side of oddness. I hope in time to have a more balanced and Miltonic style. But as air, melody, is what strikes me most of all in music and design in painting, so design, pattern, or what I am in the habit of calling inscape is what I above all aim at in poetry. Now it is the virtue of design, pattern, or inscape to be distinctive, and it is the vice of distinctiveness to become queer...
After his October examinations in 1884, Gerard Manley Hopkins, penned a letter to Robert Bridges; Hopkins also enclosed a copy of the prayer known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.” Hopkins mused upon producing “a new and critical edition of St. Patrick’s “Confession.” (Letters to Bridges 195) Hopkins thought that (except for its brevity) Patrick’s “Confession” was worthy to rank with St. Augustine’s Confessions and St. Ignatius’ Imitation. Hopkins notes that Patrick’s “Confession” is closer to Paul’s epistles “than anything else I know, unless perhaps St. Clement of Rome.” This project vanished stillborn. Norman White cites the optimism of the intended project as an expression of Hopkins’s “early desire to do well by Ireland.” Read more on Hopkins and Saint Patrick's Breastplate here
Other Lectures will be added to this archive over the next few weeks.
Hart Crane and Gerard Manley Hopkins || Love in the Writing of Gerard Manley Hopkins || Poet as Prophet || Romanantic Poetics || Hopkins nad the Church of England || Meister Eckhart and his Influence on Gerard Manley Hopkins || Robert Bridges and Gerard Manley Hopkins || Saint Patrick's Breastplate ||