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  #1  
Unread 03-28-2024, 09:10 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Default The Wreck of the Deutschland

I just finished the third of Anthony Burgess's Enderby (an erratic poet) novels, Enderby's End, or The Clockwork Testament, which deals, in an offhand way, with the reaction to Kubrick's film. Here the plot centers on Enderby's screenplay to Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem, "The Wreck of the Deutschland," which is about the loss of a passenger ship off the English coast; among those lost were five German nuns seeking asylum in the UK. I must admit that I'd started the poem many times but had never finished it; it is very difficult and one would say proto-modern. Well, I have read it now. You might give it a try yourself.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...he-deutschland
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Unread 03-29-2024, 03:37 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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My first introduction to Hopkins was an article that focused on his meter. The article was enthusiastic about the meter he designed. How radical was the change? Do today’s formal poets consider his work to be metrical? Is there debate?
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Unread 03-29-2024, 06:15 PM
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Hopkins' poetry is definitely metrical; the only reason to consider it non-metrical is inability to master it. (Its formal properties are reasonably well-studied, by the sorts of folks who study such things, though also controversial, because formal study of scansion is the domain of cranks. I say this with all love, and definite sympathy.)

Sprung rhythm is best understood as bringing back features of Old English alliterative verse into accentual-syllabic meter, only counting strong stresses and allowing more unstressed syllables between them than would otherwise be allowed. To differentiate strong stresses from "stressed" syllables too weak to count he too uses alliterative techniques, as well as internal rhyme and other ways to draw extra emphasis to them.

It's not identical to alliterative meter: it still makes some concessions to accentual-syllabic meter and will fall back into it at times. But if you take the time to get a feel for it, you can hear his meter when reading his poems aloud, and it is palpably different from yr friendly neighborhood iambs.
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Unread 03-30-2024, 02:30 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Oh, the reading-aloud of it makes meaning shine.

See also "Cynghanedd", which will have influenced his ear during the learning of Welsh.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 03-30-2024 at 03:16 AM.
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Unread 03-30-2024, 02:58 AM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
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A riveting reading, spoiled only by the grotesque animation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rck5mtuceEk
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Unread 04-01-2024, 01:09 PM
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A lot has been made of "sprung rhythm," which can best be heard in "The Windhover." In his letters to Bridges he perhaps over-explains his practice by using extrapolations from traditional metrical terms. That said, a good deal of Hopkins's poetry is written in traditional meters. This one is accentual (or "sprung") with lines ranging from 3 to 6 stresses. I can't be quite sure if the pattern is exactly maintained in each stanza.

Last edited by R. S. Gwynn; 04-01-2024 at 01:17 PM.
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Unread 04-03-2024, 12:38 PM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
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It is indeed a splendid reading, Carl. Who is the reader? He reads these complex, idiosyncratic verses with intelligence and clarity, managing to deliver even the histrionic pitch of a great many passages in an effective fashion within the overall arc of the reading.

There was a period in my professional life – now several decades ago – when I quite frequently found myself teaching Hopkins. This was when I worked in Liverpool, a city where Hopkins had served in the 1880s. Liverpool, as many will know, is a city marked by divisions between the Protestant and Catholic faiths. The vast influx of desperate people from Ireland in the wake of the Irish Famine, most of them Catholics, magnified the divisions that already existed, forcing changes in the patterns of residence and occupation on and around the Mersey. Partly as a result of this, in Hopkins’s time the city was also marked by a great gulf between those living in persistent poverty and those who were comfortably off or indeed wealthy, a history whose distant consequences are evident in Liverpool to this day. The intermittent occurrence throughout the nineteenth century of sectarian riots in the city strongly influenced the establishment across the whole of England – matters were differently managed in the other parts of the United Kingdom, though the issues were much the same – of the pattern of secular and religious schools which, in modified form, persists to the present.

Pitching this poem and others by Hopkins to adult students who, as it happened, were mostly either from the Protestant side of the divide or who, for whatever personal reasons, stood somewhat aloof from it, was – let us say – an interesting exercise.

Hopkins’s poetry became generally known only long after his death. His poems were first published in book-form in 1918, twenty-nine years later, in a volume edited by Robert Bridges. In 1930, Oxford University Press put out an enlarged collection, edited by Charles Williams. He was the earliest poet included in Michael Roberts’s influential 1936 anthology, The Faber Book of Modern Verse.

Thanks for posting this link, Carl. I entirely agree with you about the hideous animation.

Clive
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Unread 04-04-2024, 03:22 AM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
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Clive, it’s apparently Paul Scofield, BBC Radio 3, 1975. It’s from a site with some wonderful readings, all mouthed by animated reciters, some of whom seem to have been recently exhumed (including a mumbling recitation of “To Be or Not to Be” by the prehistoric Cheddar Man!).

Fascinating what you say about Hopkins, who’s always been a favorite of mine. I was introduced to him early (though I never read him or anyone else deeply), when a schoolteacher saw some doggerel of mine and recommended I read Hopkins rather than Swinburne!
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  #9  
Unread 04-04-2024, 04:28 AM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
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Yes, it does sound like Schofield. He was a fine and intelligent actor. Thanks, Carl.
Clive
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