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 The “rural keeping” that he delighted in had been replaced by the “graceless growth” of modern suburbs.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

Beginning Lent with Father Gerard’s “Nondum”

Throughout his short life, Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote occasional poems. Some were late apologies for missing a sister’s birthday. Others were designed to be presented to his Jesuit community, such as a playful description of a superior. And many were written to commemorate the liturgical season. During the Lent of 1866, he wrote the poem, … More Beginning Lent with Father Gerard’s “Nondum”

Year in Review

We’ve have quite a busy year! Our daughter, Eleanor, was born in March. I taught a class on fairy tales, and came away from it thinking Where the Wild Things Are is more genius than I ever realized (more on that in a later post). And I finished my comprehensive exams, preparing to teach in classes on … More Year in Review