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August 09 , 2008

The Priestly Poems of G.M. Hopkins


In any case, what distinguishes the plays of Shakespeare from those of all his contemporary dramatists is exactly what distinguishes the poems of Hopkins from those of all his contemporary poets, namely the power of their genius to transcend the narrow limits whether of the Elizabethan or the Victorian age, by means of their respect for and familiarity with the height and depth, the length and breadth of the tradition of Catholic Christendom. That is why, after William Shakespeare, I point unhesitatingly to Gerard Manley Hopkins as the greatest poetic genius in all English literature, even with the inclusion of Geoffrey Chaucer and John Milton.

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