Summer 1944 • Vol. VI No. 3 Gerard Manley Hopkins |

Instress of Inscape

The early Hopkins follows Keats and the "medieval school” (as he called the Pre-Raphaelites). The latest Hopkins, who wrote the sonnets of desolation, was a poet of tense, economic austerity. Their nearest parallel I can call would be Donne’s "holy sonnets": "Batter my heart" and "If poisonous minerals." For mode in "Andromeda" and the later sonnets (1885-9), Hopkins himself projected "a more Miltonic plainness and severity": he is thinking of Milton’s sonnets and the choruses of Samson. In 1887 he invoked another name: "my style tends always more towards Dryden." The middle period, which opens with the "Wreck of the Deutschland" (1885) and closes with "Tom’s Garland" and "Harry Ploughman," both written in 1885, is the period of experiment. But it is also the most Hopkinsian,—the most markedly and specially his. Middle Hopkins startles us by its dense rich world, its crowded Ark, its plentitude and its tangibility, its particularity of thing and word. There is detail

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Austin Warren (1899-1986) was a literary critic and professor of English. He is well known for his collaboration with René Wellek on the Theory of Literature (1949) as well as his collection of essays Rage for Order (1948). He was also an influential literary scholar, writing books on Pope, Hawthorne, the elder Henry James, and Crashaw.

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