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The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins by Gerard…

The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918)

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Mackenzie in his introduction names "The Wreck of the Deutschland" as a key work for Hopkins. Upon first reading it left less of an impression than poems as "Inversnaid", their idiosyncratic locution like smooth marbles in the mouth: "His rollrock highroad roaring down", an instance.

My first reading of Hopkins, apart from possible exposure to one or two poems in high school. I heard an echo of Elisabeth Frasier's lyric in more than one place, but did not mark them. Will be curious to see if they recur when reading another time.

My first encounter with Sprung Rhythm, reason enough to revisit this slim volume. Mackenzie from his introduction:

The essence of Sprung Rhythm is, firstly, that the length of a line is gauged by stresses, not syllables; and secondly, that each foot may contain in addition to its stress whatever number of light or medium syllables the artists needs to balance the weight of the stress -- varying from as many as five or six down to none at all. [16-17]

Unsurprising to find Shakespeare used it; more immediately, Dylan does. Its description is more complicated than the sound of it; Hopkins was inspired by common speech to fix the rhythm in his mind, and use it in verse. Common enough in daily experience if tricky to write. I'm not yet confident I can read it correctly, either, though Hopkins took pains to provide stress marks in several poems.


No essays or sermons in this edition, unadorned apart from the frontispiece image of Hopkins, and coloured ink (a fern green used in page numbers and poem titles). ( )
  elenchus | Jun 19, 2012 |
zounds - what sounds! ( )
  bookstopshere | Feb 11, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192810944, Paperback)

Fourth ed. based on the First ed. of 1918 and enl. to incorporate all known Poems and Fragments. Ed. with additional notes, a Foreword on the Revised Text, and a new biographical and critical introd. by W.H. Gardner and N.H. MacKenzie.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:44 -0400)

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