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Who am I ? What do I write ? Who were my influences ? My writing style My contemporaries The poem PowerPoint Presentation
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Who am I ? What do I write ? Who were my influences ? My writing style My contemporaries The poem Its message Its themes Its structure What you might be asked about it…!. Gerard Manley Hopkins. Born 1844 to Anglican parents, the first of nine children.

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Who am I?

  • What do I write?
  • Who were my influences?
  • My writing style
  • My contemporaries
  • The poem
  • Its message
  • Its themes
  • Its structure
  • What you might be asked about it…!
gerard manley hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • Born 1844 to Anglican parents, the first of nine children.
  • Won a poetry prize at grammar school, and earned a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford.
  • 1866 entered the Catholic faith; 1867 graduated with a double first from Oxford. He was considered the star of his College.
  • 1868 became a Jesuit, and, feeling that poetry-writing was self-indulgent, burned everything he had written to date. He wouldn’t write again until 1875.
  • 1877 ordained as a priest; worked subsequently in the slums of Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
  • 1884 appointed as Professor of Greek and Latin at University College, Dublin. Instead of giving him pleasure, the post sent him into a great depression, and he began to feel that his prayers were no longer being heard by god.
  • 1889 dies of typhoid fever on June 8th. His last words were, “I am happy, so happy”.

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notable works
Notable works
  • Hopkins burned his early works, and did not write again until later in life. His works remained largely unpublished during his lifetime, and the collection in existence was only published posthumously by friend and poet Robert Bridges in 1918.
  • The Wreck of the Deutschland
  • Pied Beauty
  • God’s Grandeur
  • The Windhover
  • A full list of his works can be found here.
  • Return to home.
major influences
Major influences
  • William Blake, particularly his Songs of Innocence and Experience, and other Romantic poets
  • John Keats
  • Walter Pater, his tutor at Oxford
  • John Henry Newman
  • In 1865, while at Oxford, he met Digby Mackworth Dolben, with whom he became instantly enamoured; this infatuation lasted until Mackworth’s untimely death in 1867, and greatly influenced the style and content of Hopkins’ poetry.

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written style
Written style
  • In 1874, while studying theology in North Wales, Hopkins learned the Welsh language, and incorporated its rhythms into his own form of metre, which he called sprung rhythm. A clear(ish) explanation of sprung rhythm is at the bottom of this page.
  • The sinking of a ship called the Deutschland, which led to the death of almost all its passengers including five Franciscan nuns, prompted him to write his first poem which embodied his own style. At the time it was too radical in style and form to print.
  • His writing contained many Biblical allusions, and addressed many matters of religious importance.
  • Hopkins’ poetry also dwells on the simple beauty of nature.
  • He coined many of his own words and enjoyed playing with language. He uses two words of his own creation, inscape and instress, to help him quantify the world around him. In Pied Beauty he rearranges words to create a pleasing, euphonic sound.

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victorian poets
Victorian Poets
  • Hopkins is considered an early-modern poet; ahead of his time in terms of style
  • The Victorian poets included the Pre-Raphaelites (1848-1860)
  • Christina Rossetti
  • Lord Alfred Tennyson
  • Lewis Carroll
  • His work has been influential to many twentieth century writers including W.H. Auden and Dylan Thomas
  • A timeline of Victorian history can be accessed here.

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pied beauty
Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things— 

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;  

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;      

And álltrádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange; 

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)  

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:       

                Praise him.

igcse exam style questions
IGCSE exam-style questions
  • Explore the ways in which the poet vividly conveys his delight in nature
  • Explore some descriptions you find particularly effective
  • Show how the poet finds beauty in the world
  • Explore the ways in which nature is made attractive to you in this poem
  • How do the poet’s words vivdly reveal his feelings to you?
  • Explore the ways in which the poet appeals so powerfully to your senses in this poem.