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

“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