Please enable images if using a graphical browser (see notes).

Gerard Manley Hopkins is difficult to classify, which I approve of. His gorgeous virtuosity makes his poetry immediately rewarding: if I knew no English, it would still be music. Yet he has something to say, and his work certainly rewards deeper reading. Hopkins rarely takes the easy way out.

The acute accent indicates metrical stress; the grave accent a syllabic -èd. (Hopkins used a more complete prosodic notation, but I don't have his work marked in it.) Even more than most, this poetry should be read aloud (speak silently if necessary!). Don't pay much attention to line breaks.

o    The Windhover
o    That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire
o    Harry Ploughman
o    "As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme,"
o    The Starlight Night
o    "It was a hard thing to undo this knot."
o    Spring and Fall
o    Spelt From Sybil's Leaves
o    "No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,"
o    To R.B.

I am thinking of adding some Raine, but I don't know whether she'd approve.

(go to my front-door page)
19 Jan 2002