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46 of 50 found the following review helpful:
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things The supplementary documents and the great poemsFeb 03, 2010
By Shalom Freedman
For most readers including myself what matters in a poet are the great poems. These are the poems most frequently anthologized andmost widely known. These are the ones some of us read over and over again, and even try to memorize. But along with and behind the great poems are the lesser poems. And along with this is the documentation of a life, which in Hopkins case includes many letters. There is too in a critical edition of the poems another benefit for the reader, for in some cases we can see the variants and the transformations the poems undergo before reaching final form.
Again all of these background materials would be nothing without the great poems. In Hopkins poems there is the fresh and wildly original connection with Nature, the miraculous inventiveness of language, a way of seeing and saying like no other poet before. There is too the God - consciousness which pervades Hopkins works and makes him one of the greatest of all the religious poets.
This volume enables us to deepen in our knowledge of one of the English language's greatest poets.
12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Religion Makes for Great Music ...Jan 16, 2013
By Giordano Bruno
... almost as often for great poetry. With the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, the music is built in, and the religion is pure music, making it palatable for a severely non-religious person like me. Hopkins is almost unique in his musical ecstasy, matched in English only be Hart Crane. If you decide to read a Hopkins poem aloud, do it breathlessly, all in a swoop and a swoon. Don't plod sanctimoniously or academically! What Hopkins called his "sprung rhythm" has to spring!
To Christ our Lord
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, - the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
After watching two "end of life" films -- "Amour" and "A Separation" -- on consecutive evenings, I felt a need for a dose of Gerard Manley Hopkins. All his poems are available on-line, but I wanted a book in my hands. Alas, I couldn't find my decades-old edition, so I went to the bookstore and found this one, which contains not only the familiar poetry but newly discovered fragments. letters, and essays.
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
A Long-Hidden Poet Now Rising To The TopAug 11, 2013
By Ben J Korgen
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) is a special case among poets. He was a Jesuit Catholic priest who unknown to the outside world, was continually writing and filing away what we now know as great poetry on any and every topic that suited him. He lived in literary obscurity and became more and more famous after his death when critics discovered he was a daring innovator whose experimental work created new ways of expressing rhythms and making imagery more vivid. He was especially creative in writing poems revealing the dappled character of the natural world in a view that modern science confirms in digital terms. The works revealed in this book stand as a legacy of great poetry. They also reveal influences adapted by great poets like Dylan Thomas who learned about Hopkins and developed their own styles by extrapolating from his methods.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Heavy stuffApr 04, 2013
By Stanton L Visser
Book came as promoted. I am slowly working through it. Some real intense poetry, but well worth the effort. Amen
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Deep in Genuine, Devoted Faith and Rich WritingSep 22, 2014
By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com
"What should I review next?"
Hopkins is one of those poets hidden from so many because of his subject matter, yet is considered one of the most influential Victorian poets for his use of word combinations, meter and image.
Added to the delicious and poignant poetry is the contemplative nature of his prose and poetry. In it, you'll read about his humility and submission to God, his genuine faith, his desire that his poetry exalt God and not Hopkins himself.
Most his work was published posthumously, as late as 1920 or so, and immediately influenced the likes of T.S. Elliot (AKA, the guy who wrote the poem "Cats" is based on and "Wasteland") and his contemporaries.
While Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde were exalting in themselves, and just after Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were helping us see creation, Hopkins demonstrated prowess in pointing readers to see the Creator in the creation.
Atheists won't agree with him, of course, but he says it so well, they will at least go, "Hmm... if I believed, I could see that... yeah, wow, well put." The Catholics will cheer him on, "Atta boy... yep, that guy's a Jesuit!" Not undone are the Protestants who will be so impressed in agreement they'll be happy he was a Christian.
Check out this snippet from "Pied Beauty":
Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And 'all tra'des, their gear and tackle and trim."
Those accents are in the original.
Delicious to say aloud? You should hear the second verse. His others are as tasty.
I fully recommend this book.
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