Welcome back to the second edition of my blog. This semester I will be analysing and unfold the authors of some amazing texts from the 20th Century. The 20th Century became one of the written cries for help, finding one’s self and most prevalent about World War 1 and World War 2.

20 years after his death, Gerard Manley Hopkins was great exposure. 1918, was the first time and publication of the brutally deep truth he hid inside his poems. It was then that it became accessible to the readers of the world. At first glance, anyone could recognise clear but strong images of sound, sight, texture, word creation and much more revived techniques. This can be viewed within the journals that Hopkins kept. Through the journals, Hopkin’s could be seen as an intense observer of the world as he could see past the beauty and recognise the daunting truth about the world around him.

A poem, which was written by Hopkins in 1877 “As Kingfishers Catch Fire”, enlightens readers through his adaptation of nature as a collective and metaphorical delivery as the true nature of a human being in this piece. The poem begins with the simile “As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame” representing that the kingfisher (a type of bird) is drawing the fire and the flame from the sunlight. This can be acknowledged as drawing the emotions and feelings from everyday experiences. Which I believe is the precise essence of one’s life, identifying their feelings and emotions. “Selves” preaches that everyone has an individual life and substance which is speaking out. That every life on this planet whether its human and/or being is alive and dwells on the rightness and pain which they have to be a part of. Throughout the first stanza the onomatopoetic words such as “swung, tung, fling, hung, plucked, tucked and tumbled” all vividly echo the sounds of life and the obstacles that people go through. The second paragraph expresses “the just man justices” revealing how a being should act in times, proving that a just person acts in a just manner. A spiritual connection is then portrayed by saying “To the Father through the features of men’s faces”. It recognises Christian education, knowing that it is the Father (God), that Christians look up to and identifying the grounds of one’s self and being one with The Father.




Left: en.wikipedia.org

Right : www.hotel-r.net

So why has Gerard Manley Hopkins done this? Well, it is now made clear to me that Hopkins expresses his deep, analysed thoughts of what life is for human beings through unveiling the darkness beneath the light through sight, sound and texture. By doing so he creates a vivid image in his reader’s minds and as a result, individuals connect and agree with his point of view. I also see that Hopkins wants to let the readers know that he actually can reiterate a deeper collective of words in his own unique way. He does so by comparing unlikely things, for example, a Kingfisher and a Dragonfly. I can also appreciate his religious influence as he creates a ‘grace’ view in the eyes of The Father.


4 thoughts on “#1 Gerard Manley Hopkins

  1. Annaliese,

    I love that you have an eye for technique. In all of the blogs of yours that I have read, including this one, you have never failed to show your own creativity by analysing the author’s. I am inspired to your eye to detail and your patience to discuss the various word techniques used and their individual meanings. For me, analysing techniques can be a lengthy process; very time-consuming and quite exhausting, but you write as if it were second nature. I love that you then took this blog a step further by question WHY the author took this approach. That shows your intent and purpose behind the words that you write.
    It was also effective that you asked yourself and the reader this question AFTER you posted the photo, as it provided a nice mental break from reading to allow comfort as well as emphasis on the question.
    Once again, i admire your eye for detail, thanks for the read!

    Belle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Annaliese,
    I really enjoyed reading your commentary on Gerard Manley Hopkins and your analysis on his work, “As Kingfishers Catch Fire.” You have included some very interesting observations on the text particularly how you capture the essence of Hopkins work which is to convey the emotions and feelings of individuals and animals alike as being an essential part of life. You’ve also mentioned how his religious views have influenced his writing which was also wonderful to read. You have provided some interesting analysis and supported your analysis effectively throughout your blog which is great to see! My only form of criticism would be to possibly structure your sentences in a better flowing way, for example, “20 years after his death, Gerard Manley Hopkins was of great exposure.” I didn’t quite understand what that meant. Do you mean his work has been exposed by critics and students since his death? I found it a bit vague to understand. Other than that, your detailed analysis was excellent to read and I have learnt so much from reading this blog. Thank you!



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