Created to praise: the language of Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Oxford University Press, 1987 - Poetry - 145 pages
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The Victorian Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins found in religious discipline, and released in his poetry, the tremendous power at the heart of the human language. The two coinciding, and often conflicting, vocations of poetry and priesthood resulted in a tension explicitly documented in the verse. The spiritual struggle that began with the first line Hopkins wrote as a priest--"Thou mastering me/God!"-- culminates with the so-called "terrible sonnets," which represent a strange triumph over scruple and a bending of his domineering will. This study traces the connections between the poet's development of the concept of vocation, his grasp of the implications of sacrament, his interpretation of the function of particulars in nature, and, in an ironic balance of decorum and irregularity, his subtle appropriation of something resembling baroque aesthetics. Margaret Ellsberg's incisive analysis clearly illustrates the ways in which Hopkins called upon the vocabularies of his dual vocation to achieve a voice perfectly pitched at praise.

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
Conclusion
121
bibliography
137
Copyright

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