Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley HopkinsGerard Manley Hopkins was born in 1844 in England.  Though he was born into an Anglican family, he converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Jesuit priest.  His desire to write poetry was sometimes distressful to him because he felt it interfered with his devotion.  He continued to write, although little of his work was published during his lifetime.

Hopkins is considered a Victorian poet in terms of his time period, but his sprung rhythms and inventive use of words make him more of a Modernist poet in terms of his technique.  Notice, for example, that in “Spring and Fall” certain syllables have accent marks over them.  Hopkins intended these syllables to be stressed even though they are not normally stressed when spoken.

You can learn more about Hopkins and his work at your library or at many web sites, including:

Spring and Fall to a Young Child

Márgarét, áre you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.