Gerard Manley Hopkins deserves his place among the greatest poets of all time. He ranks seventh among the most frequently reprinted English-language poets, surpassed only by Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, Dickinson, Yeats, and Wordsworth. Yet when the English Jesuit priest died of typhoid fever at age forty-four, he considered his life a failure. He never would have suspected that his poems, which would not be published for another twenty-nine years, would eventually change the course of modern poetry by influencing the likes of W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Geoffrey Hill, and Seamus Heaney. Like his contemporaries Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, Hopkins revolutionized poetic language. And yet we love Hopkins not for his literary genius but for the hard-won faith that comes to expression in his verse. Who else has captured the thunderous voice of God and the grandeur of his creation on the written page as Hopkins has? Seamlessly weaving together selections from Hopkins's poems, letters, journals, and sermons, Peggy Ellsberg lets the poet tell in his own words the story of a life-long struggle for faith that gave birth to some of the best poetry of all time. Even readers who spurn religious language will find in Hopkins a refreshing, liberating way to see God's hand at work in the world.
Author: Peter Parker
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2016-06-30
Genre: Social Science
Why is it that for many people 'England' has always meant an unspoilt rural landscape rather than the ever-changing urban world in which most English people live? What was the 'England' for which people fought in two world wars? What is about the English that makes them constantly hanker for a vanished past, so that nostalgia has become a national characteristic? In March 1896 a small volume of sixty-three poems was published by the small British firm of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd in an edition of 500 copies, priced at half-a-crown each. The author was not a professional poet, but a thirty-seven-year-old professor of Latin at University College, London called Alfred Edward Housman who had been obliged to pay £30 towards the cost of publication. Although slow to sell at first, A Shropshire Lad went on to become one of the most popular books of poetry ever published and has never been out of print. As well as being a publishing phenomenon, the book has had an influence on English culture and notions of what 'England' means, both in England itself and abroad, out of all proportion to its apparent scope. Housman Country will not only look at how A Shropshire Lad came to be written and became a publishing and cultural phenomenon, but will use the poems as a prism through which to examine England and Englishness. The book contains a full transcript of A Shropshire lad itself, also making it a superb present.
Author: Lesley J. Higgins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2014-02
Genre: Literary Collections
Hopkins's 'Dublin Notebook' brings us closer to Hopkins's life and times than any other volume, providing a digitized facsimile of the large journal he used for academic, personal, and religious notes, accompanied by a careful transcription of the hand-written text, and thorough explanatory notes to guide the reader.
Author: Carol Jacobs
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2015-09-22
Genre: Literary Criticism
W. G. Sebald’s writing has been widely recognized for its intense, nuanced engagement with the Holocaust, the Allied bombing of Germany in WWII, and other episodes of violence throughout history. Through his inventive use of narrative form and juxtaposition of image and text, Sebald’s work has offered readers new ways to think about remembering and representing trauma. In Sebald’s Vision, Carol Jacobs examines the author's prose, novels, and poems, carefully illuminating the ethical and aesthetic questions that shaped his remarkable oeuvre. Through the trope of “vision,” Jacobs explores aspects of Sebald’s writing and the way the author’s indirect depiction of events highlights the ethical imperative of representing history, while at the same time calling into question the possibility of such representation. Jacobs’s lucid readings of Sebald’s work also consider his famous juxtaposition of images and use of citations to explain his interest in the vagaries of perception. Isolating different ideas of vision in some of his most noted works, including Rings of Saturn, Austerlitz, and After Nature, as well as in Sebald’s interviews, poetry, art criticism, and his lecture Air War and Literature, Jacobs introduces new perspectives for understanding the distinctiveness of Sebald’s work and its profound moral implications.
Author: George MacDonald
Publisher: Plough Publishing House
Release Date: 2016
Genre: LITERARY CRITICISM
If you don't have the time to read all the novels of George MacDonald, the great Scottish storyteller who inspired C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Mark Twain, W. H. Auden, and J. R. R. Tolkien, this anthology is a great place to start. These selections from MacDonald's novels, fairy tales, and sermons reveal the profound and hopeful Christian vision that infuses his fantasy worlds and other fiction. Newcomers will find in these pages a rich, accessible sampling. George MacDonald enthusiasts will be pleased to find some of the writer's most compelling stories and wisdom in one volume. Drawn from books including Sir Gibbie, The Princess and the Goblin, Lilith, and At the Back of the North Wind, the selections are followed by reflections from G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis and accompanied by classic illustrations of Maurice Sendak (print edition only).
Author: Stanley Eugene Fish
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Literary Criticism
Stanley Fish's Surprised by Sin, first published in 1967, set a new standard for Milton criticism and established its author as one of the world's preeminent Milton scholars. The lifelong engagement begun in that work culminates in this book, the magnum opus of a formidable critic and the definitive statement on Milton for our time. How Milton works "from the inside out" is the foremost concern of Fish's book, which explores the radical effect of Milton's theological convictions on his poetry and prose. For Milton the value of a poem or of any other production derives from the inner worth of its author and not from any external measure of excellence or heroism. Milton's aesthetic, says Fish, is an "aesthetic of testimony": every action, whether verbal or physical, is or should be the action of holding fast to a single saving commitment against the allure of plot, narrative, representation, signs, drama--anything that might be construed as an illegitimate supplement to divine truth. Much of the energy of Milton's writing, according to Fish, comes from the effort to maintain his faith against these temptations, temptations which in any other aesthetic would be seen as the very essence of poetic value. Encountering the great poet on his own terms, engaging his equally distinguished admirers and detractors, this book moves a 300-year debate about the significance of Milton's verse to a new level.
This comprehensive anthology attempts to give the common reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry. The book features a large introductory essay by Harold Bloom called "The Art of Reading Poetry," which presents his critical reflections of more than half a century devoted to the reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves most. In the case of all major poets in the language, this volume offers either the entire range of what is most valuable in their work, or vital selections that illuminate each figure's contribution. There are also headnotes by Harold Bloom to every poet in the volume as well as to the most important individual poems. Much more than any other anthology ever gathered, this book provides readers who desire the pleasures of a sublime art with very nearly everything they need in a single volume. It also is regarded as his final meditation upon all those who have formed his mind.
Out of Danger (1994) was Fenton's first collection of poems in ten years, and the poems in it renew and amplify the qualities of unflinching observation and freewheeling verbal play that made his earlier Children in Exile so distinctive and distinguished. The poems in this book's title sequence address the dangers of love, and the love of danger; Fenton proposes that in love, politics, and poetry alike the truth is "something you say at your peril" and yet "something you shouldn't contain." Part II of the book, "Out of the East," is a series of ironical fight songs about political violence-- in Manila, the Middle East, Tiananmen Square, and elsewhere. Part III, "Maski Paps," reveals again Fenton's celebrated talents for light-verse nonsense. And in "The Manila Manifesto" he turns his gifts loose upon the world of poetry itself in ways that will both enrage and delight. Out of Danger is refined and daring, jocular and deeply challenging.
"These letters--part devotion, part historical biography, part contemporary engagement, and part inspiration--reveal Carroll's curiosity and wonder about Francis. She celebrates his whimsical idealism and impetuousness, explores his spirituality and commitment to poverty, and sometimes even questions him. She also uses Francis as a sounding board for larger questions about the world--and, through her own experience, explores how brokenness makes experiencing redemption possible"--Amazon.com.
Author: Eberhard Arnold
Publisher: The Plough Publishing House
Release Date: 1997
In these firsthand accounts of the early church, the spirit of Pentecost burns with prophetic force through the fog enveloping the modern church. A clear and vibrant faith lives on in these writings, providing a guide for Christians today. Its stark simplicity and revolutionary fervor will stun those lulled by conventional Christianity. The Early Christians is a topically arranged collection of primary sources. It includes extra-biblical sayings of Jesus and excerpts from Origen, Tertullian, Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Justin, Irenaeus, Hermas, Ignatius, and others. Equally revealing material from pagan contemporaries critics, detractors, and persecutors is included as well."
Brings together in a single volume the best of what has been written about the relationship between literature and the Christian faith, with essays and excerpts from fifty authors, including C.S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, Dorothy Sayers, and Frederick Buechner. Original.