Gerard Manley Hopkins

1844-1889

 

G.M. Hopkins is buried in the Jesuit Plot, Prospect Cemetery, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland. (See map...ref no. 7)



Granite Crucifix.
Photograph by David Conway

Hopkins is buried to the left of the entrance in an unmarked grave. (The Jesuit Cemetery is a very neat, pebbled plot.) His name is inscribed on the base of the large granite crucifix that stands near by.

Hopkins was Classics Professor at University College Dublin from 1884 until his death from typhoid fever in 1889. (James Joyce was one of the students.)

Hopkins' poetry is notable for its use of sprung rhythm. This utilises abrupt single stress metrical feet.  He used this technique in his famous poem The Windhover. Hopkins also employed alliteration in many of his poems.

None of Hopkins' poetry was published during his lifetime. His work finally appeared in 1918 when it was published by his friend and fellow poet Robert Bridges.

In 1975 a memorial tablet was placed in 'Poets' Corner', Westminster Abbey, London. This commemorated the centenary of the shipwreck of the Thames which inspired his famous poem The Wreck of the Deutschland.

Hopkins' work had a profound influence on the poetry of Ted Hughes. (Compare the opening line of Hughes' poem The Thought Fox with the opening line of The Windhover.)

If Hopkins were alive today, he would be astonished at the level of interest in his work.

See also curtal sonnet, inscape/instress and parnassian.

           I have desired to go
               Where springs not fail
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
           And a few lilies blow.
 
           And I have asked to be
              Where no storms come,
Where the green swell  is in the havens dumb,
           And out of the swing of the sea.

Heaven-Haven

Read more of Hopkins' poetry

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