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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Immortal Diamond, 24 Aug 2009
This review is from: Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life (Hardcover)
Paul Mariani offers readers an in depth account of Hopkins life as a Jesuit,
based almost entirely upon his letters and journals; but more importantly, using
his previously published commentary on the poems,he offers valuable insights into
the poet's densely exhillerating sprung rhythm.
Published by Viking New York the sad weakness of this major work is a consistent lack of close copy
editing. Examples abound:
Horsham is said to be '100 miles from London' which wd put it well into the English
Channel. Mount St Mary's, where Hopkins taught and wrote his touching poem 'The Brother'
is in Yorkshire, rather than Derbyshire. The Oxford degree ceremony, we are assured,
was normally held 'out-of-doors' but when rained off for Hopkins, they repaired to
the Sheldonian. Glastonbury now has a 'Norman' Abbey, while Tiverton Junction stands
'at the edge of Dartmoor'. Robert Persons was 'drawn and quartered' rather than first being
hung: in fact none of the three, he died in Rome, on April 15, 1610.
And so on relentlessly: until, at the very end of the book, the author cannot decide whether
Poet's Corner lies in Westminster Cathedral or the Abbey.
But our thanks to Mariani, himself a distinguished poet, for giving us a fullsome
life that takes Hopkins as a whole man,who defined English poetry anew and died in Dublin
declaring 'I am so happy',Hear Our Silence: A Journey into Prayerrather than a frustrated homosexual, damaged by his Jesuit vows.
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Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life
Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life by Paul Mariani (Hardcover - 30 Oct 2008)
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