In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) was born in Stratford. He attended Balliol College, Oxford where he befriended the future Poet Laureate Robert Bridges. While at Balliol he converted to Catholicism and after graduating he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1877. Having burned his early poems on entering the Church, Hopkins eventually took up writing again but apart from a few poems that appeared in periodicals he was not published during his own lifetime. Since the publication of his poems in 1918 he has become one of the best known poets of the Victorian age and his are among the greatest poems written on the subject of faith and doubt.