- Birthday, Books, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“What I do is me: for that I came.”

 

Happy birthday, Gerard Manley Hopkins! Here are some quotes from his writing.

 

“What you look hard at seems to look hard at you.”

 

“It is a happy thing that there is no royal road to poetry. The world should know by this time that one cannot reach Parnassus except by flying thither.”

 

“The poetical language of an age should be the current language heightened, to any degree heightened and unlike itself, but not…an obsolete one.”

 

“O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.”

 

“Take breath and read it with the ears, as I always wish to be read, and my verse becomes all right.”

 

“Beauty…is a relation, and the apprehension of it a comparison.”

 

“[W]hen I consider my selfbeing, my consciousness and feeling of myself, that taste of myself, of I and me above and in all things, which is more distinctive than the taste of ale or alum, more distinctive than the smell of walnutleaf or camphor, and is incommunicable by any means to another man (as when I was a child I used to ask myself: What must it be to be someone else?). Nothing else in nature comes near this unspeakable stress of pitch, distinctiveness, and selving, this selfbeing of my own. Nothing explains it or resembles it, except so far as this, that other men to themselves have the same feeling. But this only multiplies the phenomena to be explained so far as the cases are like and do resemble. But to me there is no resemblance: searching nature I taste self but at one tankard, that of my own being. The development, refinement, condensation of nothing shews any sign of being able to match this to me or give me anther taste of it, a taste even resembling it.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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