Poems and prose is a book written by Gerard Manley Hopkins. It is republished by Penguin Poets in 1956 which has been edited by W H Gardner. The book is divided into two parts.
The first section consists of 65 poems and the second section has prose and also some letters and notes. It has 260 pages in total.
About the poet
Gerard Manley Hopkins has been born in a middle-class family of Essex. He starts his education and development at Highgate School and then he joins Balliol College.
After some years he joins the Roman Catholic Church and later he becomes a part of the Society of Jesus.
Some years later he becomes a priest in Liverpool. Later he starts teaching at Stony Hurst College and then becomes a professor at University College, Dublin.
Hopkins becomes popular almost after his death and his poems were not published until 1918.
His poems are edited by Robert Bridges and published as a collection of poems. His best-known poems include ‘The Windhover’, ‘Pied Beauty’, ‘Carrion Comfort’ etc.
Poems and Prose book
Hopkins becomes a priest and destroys all his early poems. His lifestyle influenced his writing a lot. Hopkins is always in the dilemma of continuing his literary work or not.
It made his works considerably less poetic As, the natural gift he has in abundance.
He never wished to have such a life. He has always prayed for a joyful and adventurous life. But he chooses to live in the reality rather than living in dreams.
He forcefully fits himself into the personification of The Victorian world of suppression and civility.
Hopkins is one of the poets who really break the old boundaries, and sets up the mark for the modern poetry of the 20th century. Although Hopkins’ verse has published after his death.
Hopkins considers his writing as egoistic and prideful as he was.
Hopkins marks poetry as something which he considers, can be given up. But thankfully Hopkins was not completely able to cut off his poetic enthusiasm.
For this man who is always catch up between the divine powers and simplicity is very much a man of passion and virtues. His passion comes forth in his verse.
Poems and Prose is a collection of poems, letters and journals that Hopkins has written in the following twenty years after joining Society of Jesus as a priest at the age of twenty-four He combines the mind-set of a poet with a priest.
Thus his writing is enriched with romanticism as well as spirituality.
The book has two divisions. The first section has poems and the second section has prose, letters and journals.
Among all the sixty-five poems most of the poems are either spiritual or romantic. In some of the poem, he has either combined or contrasted Victorian romanticism with religious aspects.
The poetry section of this book is absolutely genius.
Being a Victorian poet, Hopkins is the one who experimented widely and vividly with his poems And its styles and techniques. He has invented and developed sprung rhythm and theories of inscape and instress.
Using great diction and alliteration is another important method of Hopkins and it is considered to be one of the best qualities of the Victorian poets.
He was an Englishman who later became a Catholic, and thus his poems reflect his intense religious beliefs. In his poem, he has used incredibly imagery and metaphors.
The prose section is really little on this book but still maintains and develops the quality of aa good literary work The collection is mostly about letters and journals.
The letters are the most popular than his other verses.
This book has a plot of escapism of a man from himself. In his journals, it is clearly mentioned that he has no proper life which he wanted. Everything seems like a burden on him.
He doesn’t wish to have such a life.
There is a lot of delicacy towards responding to nature but it’s kind of hollow and less significant when there is less or rather no personality connected the voice.
The following letters are Potentially inspiring and have some great ideas about life.
Hopkins comes across a location as a polished place. Talks in satisfaction about Empire as if it’s a garden of rose that needs to be nurtured with care.
He gets extremely emotional when he becomes slightly resentful at a vicar who sends one of his poems to a local newspaper publisher.
Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems and Prose analysis
The book Poems and Prose is written by Gerard Manley Hopkins and edited by W. H. Gardner along with an introduction. Being a conventional Victorian poet Hopkins has shown much creativity in his poetry.
Hopkins has been so much potentially influenced by Dylan Thomas.
Hopkins’s creations are prosodic. In his work, he has incorporated ‘sprung rhythm’ and developed and promoted it.
He has metaphysical views in his writings. Hopkins’s writings are complex in its style.
Hopkins’s poetry was not just about structures. The English poetic tradition on was marked by the iambic pentameter. Hopkins observes the verse patterns of the Anglo-Saxon age for developing the concept and ideology.
In Anglo-Saxon poetry, each line is marked by four strong stresses.
Hopkins approaches the trochaic meter of traditional verse which is basically the reverse of the iambic meter. And this is how he invents “sprung rhythm,”.
Hopkins has incorporated multiple alliteration, metaphors and vivid imagery.
All the poems, prose, and letters are written in the next twenty years after he entered Jesuit order at the age of twenty-four It is published posthumously in 1918 long after his death.
This book has almost around 260 pages.
In this boo, the pressure and troubles Hopkins has had to face Are revealed. He wants to provoke the spiritual aspects and showcase the natural elements.
To express his inner emotions he has used simple language, innovative diction and rhymes. It refers to Selected Poems by John Clare.
His poetry is free from a sense of religious dogmatism. Rather it offers a hearty involvement with all aspects of life, including the love for nature and a quest for a view of divinity.
Starting on the beat and having a more fluid consistency of the line creates musicality in the flow of the poetry which attracts the attention of the readers.
Poems and Prose Conclusion
As soon as Hopkins joins the Society of Jesus, he burns out all his literary works till then. At the age of twenty-four, he decides not to write anymore, at least not as pursuing this as a profession, without his parent’s permission.
The book Poems and Prose is an assemble of poems, prose, letters and journals which has been written after joining the society of Jesus as a priest. It has been published in 1918, after his death.
His verses portray the troubles and dilemmas of a poet who is also a priest. Thus He brings in spirituality in his writings. Hopkins’s works are romantic in nature. He combines and contrasts religious concepts with naturalism.
Using innovative and unique diction and techniques, his creation is rare, deep and a significant one in Victorian Literature but the natural things have some chances of being illustrated.