Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« July 2010 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
art events
craft and zine fairs
Contests and Submissions
Front & Centre Submission Guidelines
free range print
Wednesday, 28 July 2010

I get this daily email from Garrison Keillor (well, from the NPR "Prairie Home Companion" folks) called the Writer's Almanac. It has a poem each day, and some interesting facts about various authors and other major (mostly American) figures: birthdays, death dates, anniversaries of one kind and another. 

I mention this because today it announced that it's the birthday of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Who wrote, among many other things, this:

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.

It strikes me, reading this again, that if there's one dead white guy I would instantly recommend to pretty much any spoken word or hip-hop poet, it's Manley Hopkins. Look at what he's doing with sound in this short bit!  I've loved Hopkins since high school, really, but he doesn't get a whole lot of airplay. I sort of feel like the lone voice saying, "Hey, check this guy out!" But I feel like if a lot of the poets I know through the slam scene gave him a read, they'd recognize all sorts of things that they've been doing too. Internal rhyme, polysyllabic rhyme, assonance, consonance, rhythm. This guy was born in 1844, but I hear echoes of what he did on slam stages across the city in 2010.

Manley Hopkins is the man. Happy birthday, Gerard.

Posted by Kathryn Hunt at 11:10 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink

View Latest Entries