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Poetry

Sunday Sonnet.

There is a series of Manley Hopkins sonnets of desolation. As such, moderns analyze the lonely English Jesuit who took his vows seriously, even unto exile.

And he had the courage to face his despair, at least in poetry.

‘To seem the Stranger
To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life
Among strangers. Father and mother dear,
Brothers and sisters are in Christ not near
And he my peace/my parting, sword and strife.

England, whose honour O all my heart woos, wife
To my creating thought, would neither hear
Me, were I pleading, plead nor do I: I weár-
Y of idle a being but by where wars are rife.

I am in Ireland now; now I am at a thírd
Remove. Not but in all removes I can
Kind love both give and get. Only what word

Wisest my heart breeds dark heaven’s baffling ban
Bars or hell’s spell thwarts. This to hoard unheard,
Heard unheeded, leaves me a lonely began.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

More to come: the Victorians did not lack bleakness, wit, nor courage.

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