3D Rain Broken Glass Theme | beetlebume | Forbidden Love
{{:: 'cloud_flare_always_on_short_message' | i18n }}
Check @genius for updates. We'll have things fixed soon.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

AKA: Gerard Hopkins

About Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins, (born 1844, Stratford, Essex, Eng.—died 1889, Dublin), was an English/Irish poet and Jesuit priest, one of the most individual of Victorian writers. His work was not published in collected form until 1918, but is characterised by its originality and has influenced modern poetry.

Hopkins was the eldest of the nine children of Manley Hopkins, an Anglican, who had been British consul general in Hawaii and had himself published verse. Hopkins wrote poetry as a schoolboy and went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford, where he continued writing poetry while studying classics. In 1866, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church by John Henry (later Cardinal) Newman. The following year he left Oxford with a distinguished academic record

Hopkins decided to become a priest and entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1868 and burned his youthful verses, determining “to write no more, as not belonging to my profession.” Until 1875, however, he kept a journal recording his responses to nature. Hopkins’ philosophy emphasized the individuality of every natural thing, which he called “inscape.” To Hopkins, each sensuous impression had its own elusive “selfness”; each scene was to him a “sweet especial scene.”

In 1874 Hopkins went to theolgoy College in North Wales and began to write poetry again. Moved by the death of five Franciscan nuns in a shipwreck in 1875, he wrote the long poem “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” in which he succeeded in realizing “the echo of a new rhythm” that had long been haunting his ear. It failed to be accepted for printing. He also wrote a series of strikingly original sonnets, including “The Windhover,” one of the most frequently analysed poems in the language.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1877, Hopkins served as preacher, and parish priest in various Jesuit churches and institutions in London, Oxford, Liverpool, and Glasgow and taught classics at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. He was appointed professor of Greek literature at University College, Dublin, in 1884. Hopkins was unhappy in Ireland; he was overworked and in poor health. His tendency to depression emerged fully, a condition now recognised as bi-polar disorder.

From 1885 he wrote another series of sonnets, conveying a mood of desolation produced partly by his sense of spiritual aridity and partly by a feeling of artistic frustration. These poems, known as the “terrible sonnets,” reveal strong tensions between his delight in the sensuous world and his urge to express it, and his equally powerful sense of religious vocation. Few of them were published in his lifetime.

Hopkins died of typhoid fever and was buried in the Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. After Hopkins’ death a few of his most mature poems were published in anthologies. By 1918, his first collection was published. Not until 1930 was a second edition issued, after which Hopkins’ work was recognized as among the most original, powerful, and influential of his century. He influenced T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and C. Day Lewis.

Hopkins was sensitive to the subtleties of English and used a highly compressed syntax to convey deep personal experiences, including his awe of God’s mystery and grandeur. He called his technique “sprung rhythm,” in which each foot may consist of one stressed syllable and any number of unstressed syllables, instead of the regular number of syllables used in traditional metre. The result has been a unique and distinctive form of “muscular” poetry that is still much admired and emulated.