Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) was an English poet of the Victorian era. Hopkins was born near London to a very large middle-class family. After attending Highgate School for most of his youth, Hopkins entered Oxford in 1863, where he was exposed to both secular and religious teachings. He was particularly interested first in the High Church movement represented at Oxford by Edward Pusey, and then in Roman Catholicism. Influenced by John Henry Newman's conversion to Rome, Hopkins entered the Roman Catholic Church in 1866.
At Oxford in the early 1860s, Hopkins had written many poems, but after his conversion, he burned many of these works, believing that his lifestyle, that is, his writing, was in contradiction to his beliefs. He considered his poems "personal satisfactions" which had nothing to do with his spiritual life. Only after his superiors in the church encouraged him to do so did he continue to write poetry. In 1876, he wrote The Wreck of the Deutschland, a long ode about the wreck of a ship in which five nuns were drowned.
His poetry, which features originality in rhythm and a focus on alliteration, was only collected and published after his death. Perhaps his most well-known poem is "Pied Beauty".
- Glory be to God for dappled things—
- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
- For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
- Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
- Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
- And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
- All things counter, original, spare, strange;
- Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
- With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
- He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
- Praise him.