Thursday, May 25, 2017

A poet's travails …

… Gerard Manley Hopkins, a terrible teacher who hated UCD. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Of the 28 poems he wrote in Ireland, the six known as the Terrible Sonnets are the most arresting. For anyone who has known depression, the gut-wrenchingly bleak No worst, there is none, which ends with the crumb of comfort that “all life death does end and each day dies with sleep”, is the poetic equivalent of Munch’s The Scream. It’s hardly complimentary to his adopted home, and the best we can say is that Hopkins’ misery was literature’s gain.

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