|About the Book|
Although virtually unknown in his lifetime, Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) is counted today among the great nineteenth-century poets. His poetry was collected and published posthumously by his friend Robert Bridges in 1917, and subsequently Hopkinss reputation flowered, though more as a modern writer than as Victorian, and very little as a poetic theorist. Yet the body of Hopkinss critical writing reveals sharp insight into the subject of poetics, and presents an innovative theory that locates primary poetic meaning in figures of speech sound.These figures of speech sound provide the focus for James I. Wimsatts erudite and original study. Drawing from Hopkinss diaries, letters, student essays, and correspondence with poet-friends, Wimsatt illuminates Hopkinss theory that the sound of poetic language carries an emotional, not merely logical and grammatical, meaning. Wimsatt concentrates his study on Hopkinss writings about sprung rhythm, lettering, and inscape, - his coinages - and makes abundant reference to Hopkinss verse, showing how it exemplifies his language theory. A well-researched and highly detailed book, Hopkinss Poetics of Speech Sound asserts major significance for a relatively neglected aspect of this important poets writings.