Explain Gerald Manley Hopkins as a religious poet.

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Having converted to Catholicism in 1866 while at Oxford University, John Manley Hopkins studied under the great Cardinal John Henry Newman at a Jesuit school in Birmingham, England.  After his conversion, Hopkins supposedly burned all his poems, but "most of them must have been reproduced later" (enotes).

One poem which certainly illustrates the religious fervour of Hopkins is his "Pied Beauty" in which he praises the ever-changing delights of nature.  For, his first and last lines attribute creation of this beauty to God: 

Glory be to God for dappled things--.... 

He fathers forth whose beauty is past change:

                  Praise him.

Hopkins intended his poetry to have the sound of speech rather than the rhythmn patterns of traditional verse.  This technique of his is termed "sprung rhythm." This is also evident in another poem with religious overtones, "God's Grandeur," a Petrachan sonnet that describes a world that resists human corruption because it has been "charged with the grandeur of God," having the Holy Spirit "bent" over the world, protecting it.

We’ve answered 318,990 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question