The Fire that Breaks

BookThe Fire that Breaks

The Fire that Breaks

Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poetic Legacies

Clemson University Press


February 28th, 2020





The discovery of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poetry in the twentieth century was a revelation for post-war poets, who discovered a voice seemingly bottled for their own time. This influence has not faded in the twenty-first century; in fact, it has grown all the more pervasive as poets from many backgrounds and nations have found, in the voice of this nineteenth-century Jesuit, a revolutionary way of addressing contemporary concerns relating to human imagination, ecology, “green” ethics, the role of art, and individual spirituality. In a climate where high modernism, Whitmanic free verse, and the confessional lyric are often held up as contemporary poetry’s dominant forerunners, this book proposes a more complex genealogy, tracing back to Hopkins and his influential early admirers current strands of emotional and spiritual openness, pleasure in word play and sonic textures, and veneration of the dynamic material world.

Author Information

Daniel Westover is author of R. S. Thomas: A Stylistic Biography (University of Wales Press, 2011) and co-editor of The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins (Clemson University Press, 2016). Daniel earned an MFA from McNeese State University and a PhD from the University of Wales, Bangor. He lives in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he is Associate Professor of English at East Tennessee State University. Thomas Alan Holmes, a professor of English at East Tennessee State University, specializes in Appalachian and Southern literature. He is co-editor of Walking the Line: Country Music Lyricists and American Culture (Lexington Books) and Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston(University of Tennessee Press). His research and creative work have appeared in such journals asLouisiana Literature, Valparaiso Poetry Review, e Connecticut Review, Appalachian Heritage, Blue Mesa Review, and Appalachian Journal.