Gerard Manley Hopkins

Robert Bernard Martin, Author Putnam Publishing Group $29.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-13610-8
Hopkins (1844-1889), the gentle, scholarly poet-priest, greatly admired soldiers and harbored a propensity for militaristic jingoism. Neurotically obsessed with death, which he simultaneously feared and welcomed, he channeled this obsession into a ``pattern of identification with female saints and martyrs.'' Wracked by guilt over his homosexual impulses, he repeatedly called himself a ``eunuch'' in his poems, and expressed his deepest religious emotions in sexual metaphors. Mentally unbalanced in his later years, he wrote sonnets and pagan hymns to physical beauty as a means to hold onto his sanity, according to Princeton emeritus professor Martin, the only biographer to gain unrestricted access to Hopkins's notebooks and jottings. This superlative, often astonishing portrait of Hopkins provides the fullest account to date of his agonized conversion from the Anglican faith to Roman Catholicism, and of the inner forces that drove him to create phenomenally observant poetry. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-00-217662-0
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