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The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oxford Paperbacks) 4th Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0192810946
ISBN-10: 0192810944
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Editorial Reviews


'A very useful edition of the poems, together with extracts from the diaries, letters, sermons and devotional writings. Also a helpful, unfussy introduction and good notes. It forms a good introduction ti a poet whom many students find difficult.' Dr. S. M. Smith, Nottingham University.

'anyone doing detailed work on Hopkins's poetry is now likely to consult Poetical Works, for as well as carrying the authority of the diligence that has gone into its preparation, it offers an unmatched wealth of information ... most scholars interested in Hopkins's poetry will probably be delighted with the results of this mammoth editorial project and will want the set' Diana L. Austin, University of New Brunswick, English Studies in Canada, March 1993

About the Author

Born in England in 1844, Gerard Manley Hopkins began writing poetry at an early age. In his early twenties, Hopkins converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism and in 1868 joined the Society of Jesuits. Hopkins continued to write poems thereafter, while serving as a priest and university teacher, but he burned most of his early poems out of a deep sense of conflict between his art and his faith, and he published very little in his lifetime."God's Grandeur" appeared in the first collection of his poems, edited by his friend Robert Bridges and published in 1918, long after the poet's death in 1889.

--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.


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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4 edition (March 18, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192810944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192810946
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.7 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
THE POEMS OF GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS. Fourth Edition based on the First Edition of 1918 and enlarged to incorporate all known poems and fragments. Edited by W. H. Gardner and N. H. Mackenzie. 362 pp. Oxford and New York : Oxford University Press, 1970. ISBN 0-19-281094-4 (pbk.)
For anyone who is interested in Hopkins, and everyone should be, this is the standard and authoritative edition. It gives us the only complete and accurate text which for the first time puts the poems in their true chronological order.
The poems have been arranged in four sections : Early Poems (1860-1875?); Poems (1876-1879); Unfinished Poems, Fragments, Light Verse, &c. (1862-89); Translations, Latin and Welsh Poems, &c. (1862-67). The book contains a useful and informative Introduction and Foreword, and is rounded out with very full Notes, a series of Appendices, and Indexes of titles and first lines. It is also beautifully printed on excellent paper, stitched, and bound in a sturdy glossy wrapper.
Hopkins had a unique sensibility, and brought something very special and of great value into English poetry. He seems to have had the ability to enter into the intelligence and feelings and spirit of all life forms, whether animal or plant or even landscape, to resonate with the indwelling divinity within them, and to somehow magically bring the miracle of their vibrant being over into his poems.
Hopkins is in fact a striking example of the fully human sensibility as described in the works of Heidegger and the great thinkers of the East, and exemplifies a quality of sensibility which most of us seem somehow to have lost. We skate dully and blindly over the surface of things, but Hopkins plunges into the depths of being and carries us along with him.
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Format: Paperback
The first poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins I read was "PiedBeauty," which was included in a book of poetry for children thatwas given to me by my great-aunt. In high school, I read "Spring and Fall: to a young child" and loved it, though I did not realize it was by the same author. It was only college that I connected the two, and discovered a wonderful poet, who has become one of my favorites.
For a fan of Hopkins looking for an authoritative volume, this edition is a treasure. In addition to his better known works, it contains early poems, numerous fragments, and unfinished works, in fact "every scrap of English verse which can be ascribed... to Hopkins" (from the Introduction xvii). In addition, it contains a good essay on Hopkins and his work, and extensive textual notes.
Hopkins poetry may appear obscure and difficult at first, and in fact it is, at times, wildly original. Hopkins' language is deliberately archaic and inventive, and he both revives wonderful words not used since Shakespeare, and makes up his own. Hopkins also writes in "sprung rhythm," a metrical style that is almost syncopated, and juxtaposes stressed syllables. I recommend reading his poems out loud. The sheer beauty of his language will inspire you to recite the words over and over again, until you understand his meaning: the essence which he is trying to distill. New readers may be daunted by this volume at first, and find that Hopkins' great poems are "submerged in a mass of less significant fragments" (Intro xiv). I would suggest his sequence of ten sonnets (#31-40) as an ideal place to start reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many lines on my Kindle 3 have rectangular boxes containing questions marks prepended. So "The Wreck of the Deutschland" looks something like

???????????????Thou mastering me
??????????God! giver of breath and bread;
?????World's strand, sway of the sea;
??????????Lord of living and dead;
???Thou hast bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh,
???And after it almost unmade, what with dread,
?????Thy doing: and dost thou touch me afresh?
Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.

There are some poems where this doesn't happen at all, and others where it regularly occurs. I think the ?s represent spaces for formatting indentations. It would be nice if there were a way to either filter the ?s out or convert them to spaces. Given a relatively low price, and given that this seems to be a comprehensive collection of Hopkins' poetry, 3 stars seems a fair rating.
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Format: Paperback
This review does not relate to the quality and character of the Oxford Complete Poems. It rather relates to Hopkins unique greatness as a poet which I will try to say a few words about.

Hopkins created his own style of verse, his own vocabulary for perceiving the world, his own special rhythm and language in poetry.

He is not the most easy poet to understand, and I will admit that his longer poems lose me.

When I consider his work I relate primarily to five, six , seven poems which seem to me extraordinary. " The world is charged with the Grandeur of God" and " Thou art indeed just, Lord" and "Felix Randall the Farrier, Is he dead then?' are to me the most memorable. They contain a power and beauty, a tremendous sense of identification with and understanding of the suffering in life, a kind of unique and intimate perception of the details of the natural world.

Hopkins the tormented priest wrote to my mind some of the most memorable and beautiful lines in the English language. Consider the closing of ' Thou art Indeed Just Lord" "Birds build but not I build/ but break Times wounds And never breed one work that wakes Thou O My Lord of Life Send my roots Rain."
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