Hopkins’s Final Poem

This Wednesday will mark the 127th year after Gerard Manley Hopkins’s death. His final poem, “To R.B.” was written in the last few months of his life and sent to his friend, the Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges. Taking up Horace’s pregnancy metaphor of a poet holding a poem back for nine years, Hopkins’s final apology … More Hopkins’s Final Poem

In Memoriam

Happy Memorial Day! I thought we would celebrate with Tennyson’s great elegy, In Memoriam. Completed in 1849, the poem follows Tennyson’s grief over the death of his friend, Arthur Hallam, in 1833. Through all 133 cantos of the poem, we share in the speaker’s mourning, but I’ve personally always found Canto 121 to be the most … More In Memoriam

Farväl Älskade Bror

We Swedes can be a dark people. Bergman’s films play out isolation and suffering in stark, meditative shades. His are the films of spider gods and depressive priests. Norse poetry is for waking up to days of near twilight and an overcast sky. We come from austere Midwestern families who learned from the cold that they didn’t have to … More Farväl Älskade Bror