Today’s a special day for the dead. It begins a time when monks shield their faces with their cowls on processions to cemeteries. A time when we surround ourselves with the memento mori of skulls and ghouls and graves. But why hold such a day when we are alive and part of a culture that … More Why Bury the Dead?
I think we tend to have a one-sided view of academic blogging. We tend to call it an “outreach” project, envisioning the process as research leading to communication with a broader audience. In many ways, this is great. And as someone who took time in between college and graduate studies, I feel a deep solidarity … More How My Blog Readers Helped Me Write an Article
I love Christina Rossetti’s imagery of the line “my life is in the falling leaf.” Though I’m perhaps stretching the figurative language, I can’t help imagining the sunlight of her life sucked into the leaf as it fades, shrivels, and falls. Like Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “winter world” in “To R.B.” it so perfectly captures the … More My Life Is in the Falling Leaf
With all the recent posts on Thomas Hardy and Gerard Manley Hopkins, you may be wondering if they could have ever met. Since Hardy lived from 1840 to 1928 and Hopkins lived from 1844 to 1889, there is quite a bit of overlap between their lives. So let’s play six degrees of Thomas Hardy and … More 6 Degrees of Thomas Hardy
Whenever I’m asked, “Why read Hopkins?” I have no clue how to answer. I stumble through something about his view of language with his elaborate internal rhymes and chiming of words influenced by Welsh poetry. Or maybe I turn to the solace of his line that the “mind has mountains.” Or the decade and more that … More All Shall Be Well
What do you think is the word Gerard Manley Hopkins uses the most in his poetry? Maybe it’s something that has entered into our imagination as decidedly Hopkinsian. Something like dappled. That is a word we associate with the Victorian priest-poet so much that there’s even a magazine named after it, Dappled Things. But that word only … More Distance Reading with Gerard Manley Hopkins
One day, Fr. Gerard had a moment with a bird. It was a sunlit morning when he saw a kestrel hover magnificently in the wind as a knight rides a horse. And being Hopkins, he wrote a poem about it: I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding … More Kingbird Don’t Care