The tight handwriting and restrained drawings of Britain’s Gerard Manley Hopkins in this early journal do not match the passion for God and nature that eventually exploded in his poetry in later life. An interesting study in Victorian era repression, ultimately abandoned.
Hopkins is one of the best known Victorian poets. A middle-class Anglican who felt compelled to enter the Catholic priesthood, he had a troubled soul but an extraordinary gift for language. His poetry broke ground and he was viewed as literary rebel. A lover of nature, he also sketched.
I first read Pied Beauty, one of his best known poems, as a young child, and loved it instantly. It’s a fine example of Hopkins’ ability to place familiar words into surprising contexts.
- I need Poetry (thesoulspoet.wordpress.com)
- Gerald Manley Hopkins Failed His Final – Happy Birthday Anyway! (9-poeticfingers.org)