Excerpt: ... records of my revenge, On one that went against me whereas I had warned her- Warned her! well she knew. I warned her of this work. What work? what harm 's done? There is no harm done, none yet; Perhaps we struck no blow, Gwenvrewi lives perhaps; To makebelieve my mood was-mock. I might think so But here, here is a workman from his day ...
Excerpt: ... records of my revenge, On one that went against me whereas I had warned her- Warned her! well she knew. I warned her of this work. What work? what harm 's done? There is no harm done, none yet; Perhaps we struck no blow, Gwenvrewi lives perhaps; To makebelieve my mood was-mock. I might think so But here, here is a workman from his day's task sweats. Wiped I am sure this was; it seems not well; for still, Still the scarlet swings and dances on the blade. So be it. Thou steel, thou butcher, I can scour thee, fresh burnish thee, sheathe thee in thy dark lair; these drops Never, never, never in their blue banks again. The woeful, Cradock, the woeful word! Then what, What have we seen? Her head, sheared from her shoulders, fall, And lapped in shining hair, roll to the bank's edge; then Down the beetling banks, like water in waterfalls, It stooped and flashed and fell and ran like water away. Her eyes, oh and her eyes! In all her beauty, and sunlight to it is a pit, den, darkness, Foam-falling is not fresh to it, rainbow by it not beaming, In all her body, I say, no place was like her eyes, No piece matched those eyes kept most part much cast down But, being lifted, immortal, of immortal brightness. Several times I saw them, thrice or four times turning; Round and round they came and flashed towards heaven: O there, There they did appeal. Therefore airy vengeances Are afoot; heaven-vault fast purpling portends, and what first lightning Any instant falls means me. And I do not repent; I do not and I will not repent, not repent. The blame bear who aroused me. What I have done violent I have like a lion done, lionlike done, Honouring an uncontrolled royal wrathful nature, Mantling passion in a grandeur, crimson..."
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Fully half of this book is biographical and instructional commentary. The collection of poems contains both brilliant and opaque (the Latin ones are beyond my elementary Latin), but fascinating reading for anyone who is dazzled by Hopkin's use of language in Pied Beauty, or God's Grandeur.
Apr 22, 2010
Short and Sweet
While Hopkins never got the chance to write a huge canon of poetry, his sprung rhythm and theory of inscape make his poetry unbelievably complex and downright enjoyable. He deals with perhaps the most important idea that faces man, identifying "What I do is me; For what I came." Great poet great book
Apr 26, 2007
Edited by one of the great Hopkinsian scholars of all time, this anthology is the "gold standard." One of its benefits is that is coincides with the editor's excellent commentary on the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
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