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I just posted a link to this on Facebook, as I usually do, and found myself making this comment: "To tell the truth I find some of his verbal fireworks a little over the top, just as a matter of taste, and this one is a bit plainer (by Hopkins standards)." I had not consciously articulated that to myself, but it is part of the reason I like it. I tend to prefer plainness and restraint, and this poem seems a near-perfect unity, with no spectacular details standing out as is sometimes the case with Hopkins's work.

It somehow seems to go with last weeks.

I can remember lying in my bunk at camp and seeing people moving around with flashlights.

Of course, I'm sure I do see that around here, Bill is outside with a flashlight often, but I haven't really thought about it.

I like this very much. It makes me want to go sit on the porch tonight and watch for a light.


Hmm, yes, it does very much go with last week's.

A few years back a Jesuit priest came to the summer institute at Spring Hill to teach a 1 hr course on Hopkins in that program. I did not take the course, but went to a lecture he gave beforehand. The hour long lecture was pretty much going line by line over "The Windhover" and explaining it all. Then at the end he put down his notes and recited it to us by heart. That was the best part!

I don't think it was that one, but I heard a lecture on Hopkins there, too, I think also by a priest. Seems like it was a good bit more than "a few" years back. I don't remember much of the lecture but he read a Hopkins poems that has always baffled me--"Spelt From Sybil's Leaves" maybe--and it seemed to make sense for the first time.

"The Windhover" made no sense to me until that lecture and listening to him recite it correctly. Unfortunately I woke up the next morning back where I started. :)

Poetry is very ephemeral in my brain.

An opus dei priest gave me one volume of a two volume biography of Hopkins. Its about the second half of his life. Its by an atheist and its quite challenging. I found it enjoyable.

That might be more than I'm interested in knowing about Hopkins. Two volumes for the second half!--and he died at 45.

Oh wait, I misread that--you mean 2 volumes for the whole life. Still...I guess I'm just not keen on bios anyway. T

Has anyone here read Ron Hansen's Exiles: A Novel about what led Hopkins to write the "Wreck of the Deutschland"?

Marianne yes I enjoyed it a lot

I haven't but sounds interesting. I read Mariette in Ecstacy, which I liked although not as much as I'd expected to based on recommendations.

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