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41 of 45 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.
10 of 10 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.
3 of 3 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.
3 of 3 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 3 found the following review helpful:
A must-have for anyone who likes poetryMay 06, 2013
I bought this book for a class, and it's been a great experience. So much of Hopkins' poetry is top-notch. This includes all his poems as well as a lot of letters and journal entries. The notes are often helpful, and not too hard to find in the back of the book. Usually I like notes on the bottom of a page, but when they're in the back, they distract from the poetry less. The binding of the book is decent, but it's starting to fall apart at the pages where I spend the most time. A nice, small volume that you can carry with you very easily. Many of his poems are short, but they are very full. His use of language is always beautiful.
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