Distance Reading with Gerard Manley Hopkins

What do you think is the word Gerard Manley Hopkins uses the most in his poetry? Maybe it’s something that has entered into our imagination as decidedly Hopkinsian. Something like dappled. That is a word we associate with the Victorian priest-poet so much that there’s even a magazine named after it, Dappled Things. But that word only … More Distance Reading with Gerard Manley Hopkins

What Can Poetry Do?

I’m about to start a series on genre, looking at what it means for literature and even our general speech acts through the thought of Mikhail Bakhtin. Until then, here’s a look at the lesser known genre of Marian poetry for today. It’s a fascinating genre with some fuzzy boundaries. What poems should we include … More What Can Poetry Do?

Featuring Reggie Watts…

I’m now in the middle of migrating to Georgia and haven’t been able to update the blog as much as I like. Monastic Mondays will still go strong, but here’s Reggie Watts on literature to tide you over for the time being. The takeaway: Don’t be dead, ‘kay?

What Can Poetry Do?

We may think of poetry as a frivolous nicety. Something for unemployed graduate students and English teachers. We may have repeated to ourselves the old mantra from Auden’s poem about Yeats that “poetry makes nothing happen.” It’s only an assortment of words, with tired rhymes or childish puns. What can it do besides give me a feeling? … More What Can Poetry Do?