A Retreat with Hopkins: Holy Saturday

‘O Death, Death’ O Death, Death, He is come. O grounds of Hell make room. Who came from further than the stars Now comes as low beneath. Thy ribbèd ports, O Death Make wide; and Thou, O Lord of Sin, Lay open thine estates. Lift up your heads, O Gates; Be ye lift up, ye […]

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“A Sad and Angry Consolation”: On the Loss of Geoffrey Hill

So – Croker, Macsikker, O’Shem – I ask you what are poems for? They are to console us with their own gift, which is like perfect pitch. Let us commit that to our dust. What ought a poem to be? Answer, a sad and angry consolation. What is the poem? What figures? Say, a sad … More “A Sad and Angry Consolation”: On the Loss of Geoffrey Hill

“Felix Randal” as a Pattern for Remembering Hopkins

In the sonnet, “Felix Randal,” Gerard Manley Hopkins remembers a local Liverpool blacksmith that he had ministered to. Thanks to the work of Alfred Thomas, we even know who inspired this poem. One of Hopkins’s parishioners, A Liverpool farrier by the name of Felix Spence, died after suffering from an illness in 1880. Usually when … More “Felix Randal” as a Pattern for Remembering Hopkins