including: Gerard Manley Hopkins and Rossetti, Rope imagery in Hopkins' late poems; inscaping the heart; Hopkins and Mallarme;natural world and percipience in Hopkins poetry; who reads Hopkins and more ...
Gerard Manley Hopkins andChristina Rosseti may roughly be considered contemporaries, though not in the strict sense of the word. Born in 1844, Hopkins was fourteen years younger than Christina Rossetti, who was born in 1830. When the former died in 1889, the latter had five years more to live before expiring in 1894. During his relatively short life, Hopkins did not have much chance to meet this woman poet. In fact, he met her only once, it seems, and that was in July 1864, when he was introduced to her at the London house of his friend Ivor Gurney.
The rope image, recurrent in The Wreck of the Deutschland, appears in a variety of ways in four of Hopkins's Dublin poems written between 1885 and 1887, namely Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves, No worst, there is none; The Soldier, and Carrion Comfort.
In these poems, Hopkins juxtaposes the rope metaphor with other images in a seemingly unrelated manner, or he merely suggests the image without an explicit reference. This particular image, in other words, is treated as one of 'a phantasmal succession of unrelated images';(Peter Milward, Landscape, 84).
Inscaping the heart, a recurring theme in the poetry of Hopkins. The heart concerns itself with beauty, directs the reader heavenward. Its presence marked each stage of Hopkins's spiritual and poetic progression. The heart tells its tale of love. This essay, by Aleksandra Kedzierska, discusses heart imagery in the poetry of GM Hopkins.
In one of his juvenile pieces, Hopkins has his persona, Floris in Italy, express this wish: And I must have the centre in my heart/ To spread the compass on the all starr'd sky.(Floris in Italy) Almost like a motto to Hopkins's later works, these words point to the prominence of the heart which, ready as it is to concern itself with beauty, directs the reader heavenward.
I want to give my speech in two parts. First, on the history of being starting from Parmenides, and second, on Hopkins' being related to it. But before I begin, I must tell you that there are two kinds of being. Being with large B, and being with small b. Large Being involves the whole world, the whole universe as an object. The world exists, the world is, and believers in God connect its cause with the providence of God. With small being, we can think anything we see around us, such as a pencil, or a leaf. When we see a pencil or a leaf, even if we can't see being, we, know that a pencil or a leaf is the proof of being.
I feel very honoured to attend the 14th Conference of the Gerard Manley Hopkins International Summer School and to have a chance to learn from experts from various countries. Nevertheless, just as a Chinese proverb goes: "Don't sell ABC textbooks at the gate of Confucious' house!" - meaning "Don't show off your knowledge before the experts", I have a sudden fear to deliver my superficial lecture here. For years, I have been playing the role of a bridge in the cultural exchange between China and foreign countries; as a literature professor. On the one hand, I have absorbed spiritual nourishment from the cultural treasure-house of mankind to enrich myself, as well as my students and readers. On the other hand, l can also introduce the age-old Chinese cultural heritage abroad, letting both the Oriental and Occidental culture become the common wealth of the whole of mankind.
Gerard Manley Hopkins died on Saturday 08 June 1889, the vigil of Whit Sunday,at 85 St. Stephen's Green Dublin, then part of University College, following an illness of about six weeks' duration. The certified cause of death was typhoid fever, complicated by peritonitis. He was buried on the following Tuesday, 11 June, in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, on the north side of Dublin.
What I propose to offer is not the usual lecture or academic conference paper. The ambiguities of my title might have afforded at least a suggestion of that possibility. Instead I wish to describe, first, what I see as some of the obstacles facing any reader of poetry, but especially Hopkins' poetry, in this year of our Lord 2001; then, second, what I see as some possible ways out, ways to evade the obstacles; and finally I will conclude with both a challenge and an exhortation. In short: description, prescription, and a brief peroration.
In my mind, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Thomas Hardy met at St. Anselm College, during my interview for the position I hold now. In a typical New Hampshire blizzard, the professors were wearing dress jackets and snow boots. I was talking about my dissertation topic, specifically, Hardy's focus on folklore as a kind of openness to the power of the supernatural, a kind of space in which this world and a supernatural influence can meet. One of the department members was Dr. Gary Bouchard, a Hopkins scholar who lectured here a few years ago. Gary asked me, "How does this approach to the supernatural apply to Hopkins"? I thought to myself, "How should I know"? But I didn't say that. I talked about the natural world as bearing a charge created by the supernatural-a charge that an individual can access through faith, a habit of mind, or even through folk belief.
Although Hopkins and Whitman differ greatly in terms of style and philosophy, they share a love of nature. Their attention to particular details raises the ordinary and everyday to art, and they use the details of nature to, in their own way, glorify creation. They both see in nature the handprint of God and see praising creation as a way to praise the creator. Their poetry shows God living in all of creation. Their philosophies differ, and though some of Hopkins' contemporaries saw stylistic similarities, he disagreed and so do I. But I see many similarities in subject matter and Hopkins himself in a letter to Bridges (October 18, 1882) said Whitman's mind was more like my own than any other man's living. As he is a very great scoundrel this is not a pleasant confession.