Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Version 2)

Gerard Manley HOPKINS (1844 - 1889)

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889) was one of the most innovative of English Victorian poets, best known now for his vivid and original imagery of the natural world in verses such as “The Windhover” and “Pied Beauty”.

Hopkins was a master of miniaturisation and condensation. His poetry is characterised by freshness, concentrated originality and often unconventional syntax in which words may have multiple shades of meaning. One of his most important innovations was what he called “sprung rhythm”, a style intended to be read aloud in which — like natural speech — the stressed syllables ‘spring’ between a variable number of unstressed syllables, and in which the poetic lines are defined not by number of syllables but by number of stresses.

At the age of 24 Hopkins converted to Catholicism and began training as a Jesuit priest. For seven years he wrote no poetry at all, believing that he was not called by God to do so. This period ended with a concentrated explosion of originality with “The Wreck of the Deutschland”, his greatest and longest poem (number 4 in this collection) which is dedicated to the memory of five nuns who lost their lives while attempting the sea passage from Germany to England in 1875. Sometimes considered ‘difficult’ by readers who approach it in printed form, the poem’s outlines become clearer when read aloud. It is divided into two sections, an introductory part in which the poet discourses with wonder on the sudden return of his poetic muse after so many fallow years; and a second part in which he describes with dramatic pace the fate of the ship as it hurtles in the storm and snow to its doom on the Kentish sands. At its heart the poem celebrates, in extraordinarily vivid and imaginative terms, the spiritual vision of a nun whose entire attention is absorbed by Christ even as all around her is chaos and terror.

Most of Hopkins’ poetry was unpublished and completely unknown until nearly 30 years after his death when in 1918 Robert Bridges, his old friend and by then Poet Laureate, brought out this book. Hopkins’ originality was soon recognised, and his verse has had a marked influence on many later poets including TS Eliot, Dylan Thomas, WH Auden, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis. (Michael Maggs)

Genre(s): Single author

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Author's Preface MichaelMaggs
00:11:30
Play 01 For a Picture of St. Dorothea MichaelMaggs
00:01:59
Play 02 Heaven—Haven MichaelMaggs
00:00:45
Play 03 The Habit of Perfection MichaelMaggs
00:02:53
Play 04 The Wreck of the Deutschland MichaelMaggs
00:22:59
Play 05 Penmaen Pool MichaelMaggs
00:02:53
Play 06 The Silver Jubilee MichaelMaggs
00:01:36
Play 07 God’s Grandeur MichaelMaggs
00:01:29
Play 08 The Starlight Night MichaelMaggs
00:01:34
Play 09 Spring MichaelMaggs
00:01:27
Play 10 The Lantern out of Doors MichaelMaggs
00:01:30
Play 11 The Sea and the Skylark MichaelMaggs
00:01:36
Play 12 The Windhover MichaelMaggs
00:01:44
Play 13 Pied Beauty MichaelMaggs
00:01:10
Play 14 Hurrahing in Harvest MichaelMaggs
00:01:39
Play 15 The Caged Skylark MichaelMaggs
00:01:32
Play 16 In the Valley of the Elwy MichaelMaggs
00:01:30
Play 17 The Loss of the Eurydice MichaelMaggs
00:08:43
Play 18 The May Magnificat MichaelMaggs
00:03:01
Play 19 Binsey Poplars MichaelMaggs
00:01:57
Play 20 Duns Scotus’s Oxford MichaelMaggs
00:01:45
Play 21 Henry Purcell MichaelMaggs
00:02:28
Play 22 Peace MichaelMaggs
00:01:24
Play 23 The Bugler’s First Communion MichaelMaggs
00:04:18
Play 24 Morning Midday and Evening Sacrifice MichaelMaggs
00:01:32
Play 25 Andromeda MichaelMaggs
00:01:29
Play 26 The Candle Indoors MichaelMaggs
00:01:32
Play 27 The Handsome Heart MichaelMaggs
00:01:35
Play 28 At the Wedding March MichaelMaggs
00:01:06
Play 29 Felix Randal MichaelMaggs
00:01:52
Play 30 Brothers MichaelMaggs
00:02:44
Play 31 Spring and Fall MichaelMaggs
00:01:16
Play 32 Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves MichaelMaggs
00:02:37
Play 33 Inversnaid MichaelMaggs
00:01:26
Play 34 'As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame' MichaelMaggs
00:01:32
Play 35 Ribblesdale MichaelMaggs
00:01:27
Play 36 The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo MichaelMaggs
00:05:49
Play 37 The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe MichaelMaggs
00:06:45
Play 38 To what serves Mortal Beauty? MichaelMaggs
00:02:03
Play 39 [The Soldier] MichaelMaggs
00:01:51
Play 40 [Carrion Comfort] MichaelMaggs
00:02:18
Play 41 'No worst, there is none' MichaelMaggs
00:01:46
Play 42 Tom’s Garland MichaelMaggs
00:02:19
Play 43 Harry Ploughman MichaelMaggs
00:02:04
Play 44 'To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life' MichaelMaggs
00:01:32
Play 45 'I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day' MichaelMaggs
00:01:44
Play 46 'Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray' MichaelMaggs
00:01:41
Play 47 'My own heart let me have more have pity on' MichaelMaggs
00:01:31
Play 48 That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection MichaelMaggs
00:03:11
Play 49 St. Alphonsus Rodriguez MichaelMaggs
00:01:35
Play 50 'Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend' MichaelMaggs
00:01:52
Play 51 To R. B. MichaelMaggs
00:01:33
Play 52 Summa MichaelMaggs
00:00:32
Play 53 'What being in rank-old nature should earlier have that breath been' MichaelMaggs
00:01:01
Play 54 On the Portrait of Two Beautiful Young People MichaelMaggs
00:03:17
Play 55 'The sea took pity: it interposed with doom' MichaelMaggs
00:00:37
Play 56 [Ash-boughs] MichaelMaggs
00:01:55
Play 57 'Hope holds to Christ the mind’s own mirror out' MichaelMaggs
00:01:15
Play 58 St. Winefred’s Well MichaelMaggs
00:13:40
Play 59 'What shall I do for the land that bred me' MichaelMaggs
00:01:47
Play 60 'The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less' MichaelMaggs
00:01:17
Play 61 Cheery Beggar MichaelMaggs
00:01:01
Play 62 'Denis, whose motionable, alert, most vaulting wit' MichaelMaggs
00:00:46
Play 63 'The furl of fresh-leaved dogrose' MichaelMaggs
00:01:25
Play 64 The Woodlark MichaelMaggs
00:02:46
Play 65 Moonrise MichaelMaggs
00:01:14
Play 66 'Repeat that, repeat' MichaelMaggs
00:00:47
Play 67 On a piece of music MichaelMaggs
00:00:23
Play 68 'The child is father to the man' MichaelMaggs
00:00:47
Play 69 'The shepherd’s brow, fronting forked lightning' MichaelMaggs
00:01:31
Play 70 To his Watch MichaelMaggs
00:01:16
Play 71 'Strike, churl; hurl, cheerless wind' MichaelMaggs
00:00:44
Play 72 Epithalamion MichaelMaggs
00:04:36
Play 73 'Thee, God, I come from, to thee go' MichaelMaggs
00:01:37
Play 74 'To him who ever thought with love of me' MichaelMaggs
00:00:48