A Retreat with Hopkins: The Ninth Hour

The Mother of Sorrows A PATHETICAL DESCANT UPON THE DEVOUT PLAIN- SONG OF STABAT MATER DOLOROSA I In shade of Death’s sad tree Stood doleful she. Ah she, now by none other Name to be known, alas, but Sorrow’s Mother. Before her eyes Hers and the whole World’s Joy, Hanging all torn, she sees; and […]

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Christmas with Hopkins

With his emphasis on the embodiment of Christ in his poetry, the priest-poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins has quite a few seasonal poems to choose from. Last year, we looked at one of his darker Christmas poems, but I thought we would be a little more festive this year. The stanza above is from “Ad Matrem Virginem,” … More Christmas with Hopkins

What Can Poetry Do?

I’m about to start a series on genre, looking at what it means for literature and even our general speech acts through the thought of Mikhail Bakhtin. Until then, here’s a look at the lesser known genre of Marian poetry for today. It’s a fascinating genre with some fuzzy boundaries. What poems should we include … More What Can Poetry Do?

What Can Poetry Do?

We may think of poetry as a frivolous nicety. Something for unemployed graduate students and English teachers. We may have repeated to ourselves the old mantra from Auden’s poem about Yeats that “poetry makes nothing happen.” It’s only an assortment of words, with tired rhymes or childish puns. What can it do besides give me a feeling? … More What Can Poetry Do?