What Do I Read Next?
• All of Hopkins’s poems, along with extracts from his journals and letters, and some of his sermons and devotional writings, are collected in Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Major Works (1986), edited by Catherine Phillips. Readers new to his poetry may enjoy “The Windhover,” “God’s Grandeur,” and “As Kingfishers Catch Fire.” For an example of his so-called terrible sonnets, “No Worst” may be of interest.
• Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Very Private Life (1991), by Robert Bernard Martin, is an interesting biography that argues that Hopkins projected his suppressed homoerotic impulses onto God and nature, producing some of the most sensually ecstatic religious poetry in English literature. Martin gained unprecedented and unrestricted access to Hopkins’s notebooks to write this biography.
• Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology (2005), by Eugene H. Peterson, is a popular book written for the general reader in which the author explores the meaning of Biblical texts through the beauty of creation and the tragedies of history. Peterson, a pastor and professor, argues that spirituality is a sensual process.
• Readers who enjoy Hopkins’s poetry may also appreciate that of the seventeenth-century English metaphysical poet John Donne. Most of his poems, including his love poetry and religious poems and writings, are collected in John Donne: The Major Works, including Songs and Sonnets and Sermons (2000).