Gerard Manely Hopkins

Essay by bl4de31337 .. jasonHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 1996

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Jason Platko

Mrs. Pena


28 May, 1996

Everyone is destined to be great for a moment in their lives. For Gerard Manley Hopkins this was difficult. Gerard was a poet that came way before his time and people didn't realize the power he had with words.

Gerard Manley Hopkins was one of the most original poets to write in English at any time period. He only lived for 45 years and only had three of his poems published during his lifetime. Gerard was torn between his love of God and his love of poetry.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, born on July 28 1844, was the eldest of eight children of a London marine insurance adjuster. Besides writing books about marine insurance Gerard's father, Manley, also wrote a volume of poetry. His mother on the other hand was a very pious person. She was actively involved in the church and impressed her religion on Gerard.

He attended Highgate School where his talent for poetry was first shown. Some sources say he won as many as seven contests while enrolled at Highgate.

Gerard in 1864 enrolled at Balliol College, at Oxford, to Read Greats (classics, ancient history, and philosophy). At this time in his life he wanted to become a painter, like one of his siblings. His plans changed when he, and three of his friends were drawn in to Catholicism. He was received by the Church of Newman in October of 1866. After having taken a first class degree in 1867, he taught at the Oratory School, Birmingham. Two years later he decided to become a Jesuit when he burned all his verses as too worldly. When he entered as a Jesuit he wrote no poems. although the though of crossing the two vocations constantly crossed his mind. Then in...