children listenting to poetry poetry

Poetry appreciation

FARNHAM, SURREY : World Poets - Hopkins 100

Date: Monday 5 February, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM
Price: £15
Venue address:
The Oak Lounge, Mercure Bush Hotel, The Borough, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7NN

Publicity material for this event says:

Lecture-performance-with-readings to mark 2018 as the centenary of the first publication of a collection of Gerard Manley Hopkins's poems.

Rightly believing England to be completely unprepared for the earthquake of the new in the poetry of Hopkins, he being clearly neither a Victorian nor a Georgian poet, his friend, literary executor and editor Robert Bridges withheld GMH's 'The Wreck of the Deutschland' and other poems from publication for twenty nine years after his death in 1889 - until 1918.

But Hopkins's journey toward the light as a poet had been much longer. On the eleventh of May 1868, the 24-year-old had set fire to his early poems. Having just decided to become a priest, he believed that writing poetry – and therefore being an individual – was in conflict with his duty to God.

Years passed, and he resisted an agonising desire to write. Then - a minor miracle - the intervention of a fellow-priest, sympathetic to Hopkins's dilemma, who placed a newspaper article before him about the shipwreck, off the coast of Harwich, of 157 people, including five Franciscan nuns, and said: 'I wish someone would write a poem about it'.

The news shocked Hopkins back into poetry; the result, ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’, not only a masterpiece but the renaissance of his poetry-writing life. All else follows from that moment, including many poems for which he is loved to this day, like 'Pied Beauty' and 'God's Grandeur', and that rival contender for greatest Hopkins poem, 'The Windhover'.

Several will feature in Hopkins Night in the comfortable Tudor Oak Lounge at Farnham's Bush Hotel, alongside illustrations of the remarkable effect he had on Seamus Heaney and other poets of the 20th century Hopkins reads as though he actually lived in.


Event website

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