A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Hopkins – Reminiscing a Century Later


The first edition of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry was published in 1918, some twenty nine years after his death. This the centenary year of that significant event is perhaps an apt time to reminisce
again on the legacy of his work. The purpose here is not to explore the literary qualities of  Hopkins’ poetry or its standing within the history of English literature. An appreciation of such matters is best left to the literary scholars. It is proposed instead to take another look at the ‘faces of God’s presence’ in this poetry and at the poet’s search for God at times of his ‘apparent absence’. This is undertaken not in any comprehensive all embracing way but by dwelling briefly on a  selection of Hopkins’ poems that come to mind in relation to the themes being explored.

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