Today, at Roehampton University in your beloved London, forty Hopkins scholars, from around the world, have come together to talk about you: about you, your poems – and your Poems. There’s plenty to say – about religion, of course, sprung rhythm and so on. But I wonder if another aspect of your work has been forgotten: your poetic care for unnoticed or unimportant people. That’s a significant achievement in itself. Though born into an affluent family and growing up in fashionable, moneyed Hampstead, you didn’t write about kings or queens or popes or people of power and wealth, but of “little” people – a rare, countercultural choice, for both your age and, for the most part, ours, too.
Father Feeney is a friend of many years. The link above is of an excerpt from his letter. Here is the whole thing: A Love Letter to Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poet.