By James I. Wimsatt
Although almost unknown in his lifetime, Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) is counted this day one of the nice nineteenth-century poets. His poetry used to be accumulated and released posthumously by way of his good friend Robert Bridges in 1917, and as a result Hopkins's popularity flowered, notwithstanding extra as a latest author than as Victorian, and extremely little as a poetic theorist. but the physique of Hopkins's serious writing unearths sharp perception into the topic of poetics, and offers an cutting edge thought that locates basic poetic that means in 'figures of speech sound.'
These 'figures of speech sound' give you the concentration for James I. Wimsatt's erudite and unique examine. Drawing from Hopkins's diaries, letters, pupil essays, and correspondence with poet-friends, Wimsatt illuminates Hopkins's conception that the sound of poetic language includes an emotional, now not purely logical and grammatical, which means. Wimsatt concentrates his research on Hopkins's writings approximately 'sprung rhythm,' 'lettering,' and 'inscape,' - his coinages - and makes considerable connection with Hopkins's verse, displaying the way it exemplifies his language thought. A well-researched and hugely specific book, Hopkins's Poetics of Speech Sound asserts significant value for a comparatively ignored element of this significant poet's writings.
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Additional info for Hopkins’s Poetics of Speech Sound: Sprung Rhythm, Lettering, Inscape
A prime problem for the writer in Hopkins’s conception of poetry is that in common or ‘running’ verse rhythm, the rhythmic repetitions of the foot patterns always threaten to reduce the naturalness – speechlikeness – of poetic expression. Hopkins’s strictures may indicate that this is the case with Tennyson’s and Burns’s verse. Sprung rhythm avoids such perils by reconciling the apparently ‘incompatible excellences’ of irregular speech rhythm and regular verse rhythm. The other English writers that Hopkins finds to be successful as poets, we might infer, also manage such reconciliation through distinctive variations of regular rhythms, generally iambic, which he identifies as ‘near the language of common talk’ in both Greek and English ( J 274), that make the rhythmic regularities less overt: Shakespeare’s dramatic variations, Wordsworth’s meditative progress, Herbert’s subtle changes of pace, Milton’s ‘singular’ cadences (LI 156).
A number of their feet are, in fact, paeons, but most consist of three syllables or less, so the meaning of the notations is a matter for speculation: they may indicate isochronous foot timing with the paeon a usual syllable limit. He does not mention a Sprung Rhythm: The Music of Speech 23 dominant foot pattern for his other sprung rhythm works. ’ He adds that in sprung rhythm even longer feet than the paeon are ‘allowed for special rhythmic effects’ (LII, 39). It is notable, furthermore, that Hopkins’s specific examples of sprung rhythm more often point up use of monosyllabic rather than foursyllable feet.
Deutschland, line 10). His markings of stress in the manuscripts also very often indicate monosyllabic feet. The proselikeness of sprung rhythm, then, lies in its free mixing of foot types, the range of one to four-syllable feet producing both adjacent and widely separated stresses, which tend to obscure the underlying regularity of the rhythm. ’ He emphasizes that the naturalness results from a carefully planned rhythm. It is not laxity in timing or inattention to syntax that gives rise to the proselikeness of his sprung rhythm.
Hopkins’s Poetics of Speech Sound: Sprung Rhythm, Lettering, Inscape by James I. Wimsatt