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As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Selected and Annotated Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Edited by Holly Ordway

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Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889) is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of the English language. A Jesuit priest known for his sophisticated but innovative style, Hopkins wrote poetry that expressed the full range of emotional and spiritual experience, taking readers through trials and triumphs before coming to a place of deep resignation in God.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Selected and Annotated Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins offers thirty-seven of this Victorian poet’s greatest works with detailed, line-by-line annotations by Dr. Holly Ordway that provide valuable literary and cultural references, illuminate Hopkins’ word choice, and help readers unpack his complex sentence structure. Featuring classics like “The Windhover” and “God’s Grandeur” but also various lesser-known poems, it is perfect for the seasoned poet and the first-time reader alike, acquainting them with this brilliant mind of the Catholic tradition.

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Publisher: Word on Fire
ISBN: 978-1-68-578023-4
Binding: Paperback
Page count: 176
Dimensions: 6.75 x 10
Language: English
Release date: Apr 15, 2023
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What People are Saying

“A deeply insightful and highly readable introduction to the poetry of one of our foremost Catholic poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins. Follow Holly Ordway’s advice: read the poems (aloud), read her brilliant footnotes, and let them settle into your mind and heart. I’ve been reading and teaching Hopkins now for sixty years, and still I found so much that was refreshing and spiritually new and vital in these pages.”

Paul Mariani, University Professor of English Emeritus at Boston College

“If modern Christian poetry has a saint, it is Gerard Manley Hopkins. No other poet, at least in English, occupies such a lofty position in terms of both literary achievement and spiritual authority. His reputation transcends questions of purely literary merit. He is venerated as a figure of sanctity, redemptive suffering, and heroic virtue.”

Dana Gioia, Former poet laureate of California, author of The Catholic Writer Today

“This anthology of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, offers readers a guide that is both impressively comprehensive yet also meditative, contemplative. It shows how Hopkins’ careful attention to nature became a form of prayer, the outworking of a Jesuit spirituality which discerns in the wonders and mysteries of the cosmos signs of its Creator. Holly Ordway has offered us a remarkably cogent introduction to, and guide through, Hopkins’ work, reminding us that writing (and reading) poetry can be an act of hope, a work of love, a profession of faith.”

Rebekah Lamb, Lecturer, Theology and the Arts School of Divinity, University of St. Andrews

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About the Editor

Holly Ordway is the Cardinal Francis George Professor of Faith and Culture at the Word on Fire Institute and Visiting Professor of Apologetics at Houston Christian University. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies. Her book Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages received the 2022 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies.