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Poems and Prose (Poets) Paperback – 28 Feb 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Impression edition (28 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140420150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140420159
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.3 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Little Dinosaur on 18 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed this for my University course. So far it's been really useful.
Recommend for any Hopkins lovers or students.
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Amazon.com: 13 reviews
67 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Hopkins: The Textual Pleasures of "Sprung Rhythm" 7 April 2000
By Lisa Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hopkins, a Welsh monk, was nearly lost to the public when he renounced his own work, burned a large portion of his creations and sunk into relative obscurity around the turn of the century. Oh, what a tragedy would that have been! Thanks to T.S. Eliot and other astute cultural advocates, this pioneer in the realm of confluence of sound and meaning has received more of the respect he deserves.
Hopkins' style is unique--a combination of Anglo-Saxon alliterative stress patterns, and a truly modern consciousness of spirituality and doubt. Although he draws heavily on Mediaeval techniques of versification, the poet's language escapes the flatline of the archaic through an energetic dynamism. The result is what he terms "sprung rhythm", wherein phonemes reach a level of excitement through rhythmic juxtaposition of stressed and unstressed syllables in an at times choppy, at times smooth pattern.
What I believe "Wreck of the Deutchland" is a masterpiece of Hopkins' language. This poem, like much of his work, is extraordinarily well suited to reading out loud. The ebb and flow of the paced alternation of syllabic and intoned stress gives the reader an intuitive feel for the thematic material of the poem. When the boat is tossed by rough waters, so tosses the reader's voice. When the narrator trembles with fear or faith, so trembles the reader's tongue. However, the sonic force of "Wreck of the Deutchland" is only one aspect of this multi-layered tapestry. The language of sound is a kind of precondition or foreshadowing of the meaning contained in the semantic and symbolic language of the text.
The thing perhaps that I love most about Hopkins is that he seems to incorporate all facets of expression in his work, but certainly not in a pedantic fashion. He is a metaphysical poet in the most honest and unassuming manner. The different textual layers arise and intermingle organically in the medium of the very accessibly, very human voice of a humble poet.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
One of the great poetic geniuses of all English Literature- A Richness so rare no Ripeness could be greater 30 Oct 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Reading the early poems one immediately understands how great and conscious an effort Hopkins made to transform himself into a distinctive poetic voice.

Hopkins did not write a great deal( Compare his spare output to the reams of Wordsworth) but he wrote a number of poems which are, in my judgment, among the greatest in the language. He did this by creating a distinctive diction, and rhythm of his own.

The sprung rhythm which he employed had its origin in his reading of Anglo- Saxon poetry, with its emphasis on scanning the strong stresses alone. The alliterative quality of his verse also has its origin in early Anglo- Saxon poetry.

But Hopkins infuses his work with an intensity of meaning, a richness so rare no ripeness could be greater.

Among the truly great poems in this collection my favorites are"," Thou Art Indeed Just Lord", " God's Grandeur" " and Felix Randal."

This is great great poetry, and among the greatest written about human suffering.

Emily Dickinson would have felt a chill down her spine at reading it. And for Kafka it would have most certainly broken up the icy- sea within.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
One of the finest poets of his generation! 6 Nov 2004
By Christiana Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am a great fan of Hopkins. His work touches not merely the intellect, but the soul with its depth of insight and tenderness. There is a richness to his work that many of the poets who were his contemporaries lacked. There is faith, hope, love, and a respect for the universe and its Creator. Another beautiful Penguin Classic collection. Every library personal and public should have a copy.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Thank you Father Gerard 6 Aug 2009
By Cleopatrai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were two English poets who immediately resonated with me as a teenager and who have kept faith with me in all these years. One is John Donne and the other is Gerard Manley Hopkins. Both first met at 14 at the Singapore American School courtesy of a English Literature class, there was an almost electric connection, which if I had been more self-aware would have told me something about my own sense of aesthetics (lacking) and tastes (more intellectual than sensuous).
In high school, boarding school and college I think Wreck of the Deutschland was my favorite - when I actually figured out how "sprung rhythm" worked I believe I shouted for joy and did a little dance around my room. Only gradually did I come to appreciate the accuracy of the Windhower, depicted in the sound of the poem. The poems dealing directly with religion however remained a closed door.
This lasted until last year, a year of unexpected and devastating loss. And in the worst hours I turned to: John Donne and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and found profound comfort in both, and finally I understood that last, bitter, heartbreaking poem that Father Gerard wrote and learned what it was to "wrestle with (my God) my God" - "Carrion Comfort".
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Pied Poetry 5 Oct 2010
By RCM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gerard Manley Hopkins is perhaps best known for three poems, all dealing with nature and the reverence due to God for what he has created. Not that one should expect less from a priest who renounced poetry (by burning almost all of his previous writings) when he entered the Society of Jesus and swore that he would never write again, unless his superiors agreed to it. (It is not difficult to see why Thomas Merton identified with Hopkins so much.) Hopkins was not appreciated in his lifetime since his poetry was published posthumously in 1918, and he has fallen by the wayside today, not readily recognized as a top poet. Yet Hopkins holds a unique place between the Victorian and Modern literary worlds that few others hold. The poems in this volume speak to his unique talent for language and rhythm and the sheer joy he took in delighting in the Lord's creation of the world around him.

A great number of Hopkins' poems center around the beauty of nature, with the poet praising God for what he has created. His best-known poems "Pied Beauty", "Spring and Fall", and "God's Grandeur" are testiments to this. Yet Hopkins was not afraid to explore the darker side of his nature, the doubts and fears he experienced even though he was a priest, through a poem like "Carrion Comfort" where the poet can find little to no heavenly solace for his trials and tribulations. Hopkins delighted in creating new words, compound words that compacted lines into neat poetic rhythm and played with the notions those words were meant to represent. He also relied heavily on sound, as evidenced by his reliance on alliteration and stressing words in unusual places. Hopkins' poems are meant to be read and enjoyed aloud.

Penguin Classics' "Poems and Prose" of Gerard Manley Hopkins is an excellent collection of the writer's work. Hopkins' poems are definitely not easy to read or necessarily to understand, as they can often be full of references to things a modern audience may no longer be familiar with. However, there is something downright magical in his use of rhythm and repetition that make his poems come to life and linger in the reader's mind long afterwards.
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