The Fire that Breaks

BookThe Fire that Breaks

The Fire that Breaks

Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poetic Legacies

Clemson University Press


February 27th, 2020

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The Fire that Breaks traces Gerard Manley Hopkins’s continuing and pervasive influence among writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Not only do the essays explore responses to Hopkins by individual writers—including, among others, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill, and Charles Wright—but they also examine Hopkins’s substantial influence among Caribbean poets, Appalachian writers, and contemporary poets whose work lies at the intersection of ecopoetry and theology. Combining essays by the world’s leading Hopkins scholars with essays by scholars from diverse fields, the essays examine both known and unexpected affinities, and The Fire that Breaks is a persistent testimony to the lasting, continuing impact of Hopkins on poetry in English.

'A perennial problem in Hopkins scholarship is that the seemingly unending process of explicating his highly idiosyncratic oeuvre has prevented a serious consideration of the formal and thematic continuities between his writings and those of his contemporaries and successors... Consequently, this collection makes a very welcome contribution to the scholarly conversation.'
A. J. Nickerson, Review 19

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 as Louisiana Literature, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Connecticut Review, Appalachian Heritage, Blue Mesa Review, and Appalachian Journal.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Introduction: “Rash-Fresh, Re-Winded, New-Skeinèd Score”: The Enduring Newness of Gerard Manley Hopkins9
1. “Admire and Do Otherwise”: Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ivor Gurney31
2. “Such a Mix of Beauty and Horror”: Two Modes of Modernist Response to Hopkins45
3. Action and Repose: Gerard Manley Hopkins's Influence in the Poems of Elizabeth Bishop65
4. The One Sane Milkman, I Fear: The Complex, Abiding Influence of Father Hopkins on Jerry Berryman75
5. Seamus Heaney’s Hopkins101
6. Gerard Manley Hopkins and Geoffrey Hill: A Compound Ghost119
7. “A Billion Times Told Lovelier”: Reclaiming Hopkins's Theological Legacy through Geoffrey Hill's Kenotic Lens137
8. “Strange Elation” and a Strange Relation: Gerard Hopkins and Caribbean Poetry161
9. “Hack and Rack the Growing Green”: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Ecotheology, and the Poetry of Denise Levertov, Pattiann Rogers, and Martha Silano189
10. “Before the Word and World became Separate”: Hopkins and Charles Wright's Contemplative Voices207
11. “A Mix of Mineral and Grease”: Gerard Manley Hopkins and Contemporary Appalachian Poetry225
12. Hansen’s Hopkins: The Poet as Postmodern Exile267
13. An Afterword to My Visit285