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Hopkins, Gerard Manley (1844–1889).

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631198963.2005.x


English Catholic poet. Whilst at Balliol College, Oxford, he was influenced by E.B. Pusey and the Oxford movement, and he joined the Roman Catholic church in 1866, becoming a Jesuit priest in 1877. Having destroyed his early manuscripts in the belief that his poetry was incompatible with his religious vocation, he was encouraged by his superiors to take up writing again when a ship carrying Catholic exiles from Germany was shipwrecked. The result was his longest and most ambitious poem, ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’. After a period as a parish priest in Liverpool, he became professor of Greek at the Royal University, Dublin (1884–9). His poems, which include ‘The Windhover: to Christ our Lord’, are characterized by an intense feeling both for the essence of the object being viewed (which he termed ‘inscape’), and for the subjective effect of viewing (which he termed ‘instress’). Though not an original thinker, his highly original style, which poetically rendered the freedom of the spoken language, and his spiritual and artistic sensibility, mark him out as a major English poet. 1972 : Inscape: The Christology and Poetry of G.M. Hopkins . Pittsburgh . 1988 : God and Two Poets: Clough and Hopkins . London . 1978 : G.M. Hopkins . London . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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