The Transitus of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Today is the anniversary of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s death in 1889. The poet died of typhoid fever (or perhaps Crohn’s disease) while in Ireland. 129 years ago, the “blue-bleak ember” of Fr. Gerard’s life fell and broke and revealed an “immortal diamond,” and we’re still writing and thinking about him–and most importantly still reading his … More The Transitus of Gerard Manley Hopkins

The “Immortal Song” of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Tomorrow will mark the 129th year after Gerard Manley Hopkins’s death. His final poem, “To R.B.” was written in the last few months of his life and sent to his friend, the Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges. Taking up Horace’s pregnancy metaphor of a poet holding a poem back for nine years, Hopkins’s final apology is a … More The “Immortal Song” of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Sustainability in the Victorianist Classroom

In 1879 Gerard Manley Hopkins returned to a very different Oxford than he remembered from his undergraduate years. The “rural keeping” that he delighted in had been replaced by the “graceless growth” of modern suburbs. Most troubling, he found that his “aspens dear” were “all felled,” leading to his heartbreaking repetition of the strokes in … More Sustainability in the Victorianist Classroom

“Happy the Eye That Saw Our Temple”: Liturgy in Daniel Deronda

One of the most beautiful descriptions of a liturgy I’ve ever read comes from George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. In this moment, the titular character has his first experience of Jewish worship, having opted for the Spanish-Hebrew liturgy rather than the vernacular. The liturgical moment that Deronda experiences is actually Yom Kippur, but I think the … More “Happy the Eye That Saw Our Temple”: Liturgy in Daniel Deronda

A Literary Kalendar

There is so much overlap between literature and liturgy. Sometimes a liturgy will take central place in a novel, such as the baptism in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles or the wedding at the end of any marriage plot. Many liturgies themselves are a collection of literary genres, ranging from myth to poetry to exhortation, blended with … More A Literary Kalendar