Friday, September 28, 2007


[Gerard Manley Hopkins to Robert Bridges]

8 Salisbury Street, Liverpool.

June 18, 1880.

Dearest Bridges,

I hear you are going to be married. Is this so? who is she?

The Academy had a notice of Wet Days. It blamed its cynical spirit but praised the nobility of the thought and quoted Courcy in instance. You are surprised that I found no fault with this same cynicism. It is over sour, I think; but your brother's dislikes seem to be much the same as mine and I do not mind hearing someone else say what I feel more strongly than I mean myself to say it

When you shall next call at Oak Hill I want you to hear my music to the Spring Odes, to which Grace has set accompaniments, which accompaniments I have not myself seen yet. I sorely wish I knew some harmony. And say whether you like them and they suit your meaning in the words. I have also a feeling air for 'I have loved flowers that fade', but that is not quite fixed yet, still less written out. I wish I could pursue music; for I have invented a new style, something standing to ordinary music as sprung rhythm to common rhythm: it employs quarter tones. I am trying to set an air in it to the sonnet 'Summer ends now.'

. . . . When you see Mr. Gosse ask him what were those works on Keats which he speaks of as having lately appeared, in a notice by him of a book by some lady on the same subject.

I will enclose a sonnet and a little lyric, the only things I have written in nine months.

Believe me your affectionate friend.
Gerard M. Hopkins S. J.

-from The Letters of Gerard Manley Hopkins to Robert Bridges edited with notes & an introduction by Claude Colleer Abbott (London: Oxford University Press, 1935) p. 102-03.

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