18 hours ago
‘whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) with swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;’ (pied beauty)
❗️do you read poetry?
episode 2 of #littleblacksundays
№ 02: as kingfishers catch fire by gerard manley hopkins
regarded as one of the greatest victorian poets of religion and nature, gerard manley hopkins’ work was actually considered unpublishable during his lifetime (1844-1889). he is known to have loved visual art, wordplay and puns, and this is definitely evident in the poems and prose in this slim collection. in his diary entries, hopkins describes the nature scenes around him, especially blue skies, from what appears to be his walks about town. his poetry features the heavy use of alliteration and assonance, often with an irregular rhythm and playful language that can be linked to the free verse era in poetry. the disruptive rhyming scheme might work better if you read the poems out loud and actually hear the lyrical quality of the words. in general, nature and it’s beauty and melancholy are usually the topics in hopkins’ work. these poems and passages are tinged with religious sentiments and praise of god.
i personally found this collection a bit difficult to read and get into, and there may be two reasons for that: firstly, i’m not a regular poetry reader and when i do read i lean more towards modern and contemporary poetry. secondly, i enjoy classical poetry more when i’m studying it along with the context of the poet’s life and socio-political environment. this helps me appreciate their work in a more informed and educated manner.
i felt the final passage in this collection, which was a brief diary entry from april 8, 1873, set the tone for the sentiments behind hopkins’ writings. he describes his pain upon witnessing the felling of an ashtree, and how that fills him with anguish. interestingly, this final bit of writing helped me appreciate the collection more and i finally felt some connection to hopkins and what he was trying to convey through his work.
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