19 June 2005

A path to knowing

Tony Kushner on Arthur Miller:
American playwrights have most to learn from the sound of Arthur Miller's voice: Humility, decency, generosity are its trademarks. Turn down the braying of ego, it says to us, turn down the chatter of entertainment, the whine of pornographic sensuality and prurience, abandon the practice of rendering judgment as an expression of isolation, superstition and terror, and reach for a deeper judgment, the kind of judgment that pulls a person beyond his expected reach toward something more than any single human animal ought to be capable of--toward something shared, communal, maybe even toward something universal, maybe even toward God. It's a path to knowing that is the birthright of dramatists and "genuine writers." It seems to me difficult because it's a lonely path, and Jewish in its demanding interiority. It's Jewish also in its faith that words have an awesome, almost sacred, power, force, weight. God, or the world, is listening, Arthur Miller reminds us, and when you speak, when you write, God, or the world, is also speaking and writing. "A great drama is a great jurisprudence," Arthur wrote. "Balance is all. It will evade us until we can once again see man as a whole, until sensitivity and power, justice and necessity are utterly face to face, until authority's justifications and rebellion's too are tracked even to those heights where the breath fails, where--because the largest point of view as well as the smaller has spoken--truly, the rest is silence."
(Via A&L Daily)

I'm off...

Happy Fathers' Day, everyone.

18 June 2005

Postcard from Santa Marta

Well wishes to those of you in cyberland. The second bimester has come to a close and I'm off to "the travels of summer ahead" for the next few weeks. Blogging might not be too consistent, but it will happen. I'm looking forward to time spent in bookstores and coffee shops, collecting my thoughts and checking out the myriad recommendations floating about the litblogosphere. And, of course, journeying through Part II of the Quixote!

17 June 2005

My Dreams, My Works, Must Wait Till After Hell

I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep my eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love.

~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks was born on this day in 1917. Her first book of poetry, The Streets of Bronzeville, published in 1945, was based on life in South Side Chicago, and published on the recommendation of Richard Wright, who thought the poems captured "the pathos of petty destinies, the whimper of the wounded, the tiny incidents that plague the lives of the desperately poor, and the problem of common prejudice...."

Wright himself was more militant. His explosive bestseller Black Boy was also published in 1945, and on this day in 1941 he published "Not My People’s War," which argued that the U.S. should worry less about saving the world by joining WWII and more about saving places like Bronzeville through racial reform.

Wright soon left the U.S. for good. Brooks stayed in Chicago all her life, and became a lot more militant. Looking back in her 1972 autobiography, she clearly felt that her early poetic snapshots of discrimination were tame and naïve:

"Of course, in that time, it was believed, still, that the society could be prettied, quieted, cradled, sweetened, if only people talked enough, glared at each other yearningly enough, waited enough."
(Via [I think I should do PR for] Today in Literature)

16 June 2005

Happy Bloomsday!

From (who else?) Today in Literature:
On this day in 1904, James Joyce and Nora Barnacle had their first date, thus giving Joyce the day upon which he would base Ulysses, and giving the rest of us "Bloomsday." Had Nora not stood Joyce up on their scheduled first date, this most famous of literary days would have been June 14; had that first date not happened at all, there very well may never have been any Bloomsday, or any Ulysses. The ways in which Nora Barnacle is and is not Molly Bloom continue to be discussed -- in Brenda Maddox's 1988 biography Nora: The Real Molly Bloom, for example, and the 1999 film based upon it -- but it seems agreed that she was Joyce's only irreplaceable relationship. And we do know that she was the only one allowed to call him Jim.

When they first met on the streets of Dublin, Joyce was a bright-talking and hard-drinking 22 year-old, already with something of a name for himself in the local pubs and poetry circles. Not that Nora would have known: she was a 20 year-old chambermaid from Galway, just arrived in the big city. Still, it was Nora that made the biggest impression on their date -- a walk along the River Liffey, during which she seems to have taught the know-it-all Joyce a few things that he didn't know after all. Within four months they were back at the harbor, sailing for Europe. When Joyce's father was told that his favorite son had run off with an unknown Galway girl, he responded with typical family wit: "Barnacle? She'll never leave him."

Nora was no-nonsense -- she included Ulysses in the nonsense category, and refused to read it -- and not the 'quiet helpmeet' type, but through decades of poverty, rootlessness, drunkenness, literary rejection, Joyce's failing eyes, their son's alcohol problems and their daughter's insanity, she remained the stable center of Joyce's eccentric, expatriate life.
Also, head on over to wood s lot for A Gallery of Bloomsday Cards, as well as several other delightful links and images.

15 June 2005

Tales of a librarian

Bad Librarian strikes again:
Another important issue, and one that is true of books as well as the web, though the latter much more so, is, of those 39,000 [Google] references to "Take On Me, lyrics", how many are actually providing the correct lyrics? I would venture a charitable guess at maybe 100. So how then does one go about filtering through that massive amount of data for accurate information? (My example here loses some steam, but try finding conclusive, non-contradictory information about say… genital warts for example… yeah…) The answer is by cross-referencing and multiple sourcing, a librarian's bread and butter.

Learning to decipher information — particularly in our current proto-fascist universe of fake news — is just as important as finding it. With the amount of information accumulating each day in both the virtual and physical realm, our task, as consumers and purveyors of information, becomes less about finding the data and more about filtering it, as responsibly and unobtrusively as possible. I am continually surprised how many intelligent people will take something for truth on the web without even thinking about where the information is coming from, without even checking who supports the website. [...]

As the digitization of the information universe moves along, sorting the wheat and chaff will become even more complicated, and having people around who are trained in just that kind of sifting — that is, librarians — will certainly be handy. The profession will certainly have to grow as the search for information becomes more technical. Programming may become as necessary of a skill as knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System (though that probably won't be necessary much longer), but the need for librarians, or really, human search engines, will increase as technology's capacity for information storage rockets along.

In short, yes, the internet has challenged the role of the librarian. If anything, it's just made it a more interesting job. Anyway, somebody's got to be around to say "SSSSHHHHHH!!!"
(Via Bookdwarf)

Erik Wennermark's first column: "Beware What Americans Are Not Reading."

14 June 2005

Elusive allusions

Tooling around The Modern Word (now that the electricity's back on), I found their link to The Queen Loana Annotation Project--"an attempt to use Wiki technology to create a thorough and accurate set of annotations to Umberto Eco's latest novel." There's also a Spanish version of the project (which is at an earlier stage of development, but seems to have a couple things that the English one doesn't).

Fun fact:
Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813) Bodoni, the quintessential Italian font, is widely used to this day. Bodoni himself was born in Piedmont, where Eco hales from, and Eco's grandfather was a typographer.
There's even a sample of what it looks like (scroll down to "Page 8").

I love this sort of thing. I once listed possible literary allusions in all of the songs of a favorite band of mine.

I'll be keeping tabs on this endeavor.

13 June 2005


Along with Yeats and Dorothy Sayers, today is the birthday of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. To read The Book of Disquiet is to go on a strangely liberating journey...
I'm astounded whenever I finish something. Astounded and distressed. My perfectionist instinct should inhibit me from finishing; it should inhibit me from even beginning. But I get distracted and start doing something. What I achieve is not the product of an act of my will but of my will's surrender. I begin because I don't have the strength to think; I finish because I don't have the courage to quit. This book is my cowardice.
It's not love but love's outskirts that are worth knowing...

The repression of love sheds much more light on its nature than does the actual experience of it. Virginity can be a key to profound understanding. Action has its rewards but brings confusion. To possess is to be possessed, and therefore to lose oneself. Only the idea can fathom reality without getting ruined.
And ultimately,
To feel today what one felt yesterday isn't to feel - it's to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today's living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost.
If you're unfamiliar with his work, Pessoa's Trunk seems like a good place to start. And if you're ever in Lisbon...Casa Fernando Pessoa .

12 June 2005

The empress of ice-cream

You are Wallace Stevens. You love everything,
especially the sound of things. Too bad you
are so obscure that at times even you don't
understand what the hell you have written.

Which Famous Modern American Poet Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla (Via Ed)

Nice one! But he's always made perfect sense to me...

The High-Toned Old Christian Woman

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began. Allow,
Therefore, that in the planetary scene
Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,
Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade,
Proud of such novelties of the sublime,
Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk,
May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves
A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince. But fictive things
Wink as they will. Wink most when widows wince.

09 June 2005

Running meme

So The Count tossed me a little homemade meme involving running songs (or songs you listen to while running).

Unfortunately, I must admit that my intelligence is heretofore not guaranteed, for--alas and alack--I am not a runner. But if I were...

"Don't Drag Me Down" ~ Social Distortion
"A Place Called Home"~ PJ Harvey
"I Drive a Lot" ~ Starflyer 59

(The last two are just links to where you can hear clips of the songs. I'm not tech savvy enough to upload music... Maybe if I took up running?)

And the baton goes to Stuart, Molly, and the TA.

By the way, the latter pointed me to this...and I am eternally grateful.

08 June 2005

Now this I've got to read

In this month's Believer, Rick Moody discusses The Danielson Famile in "How to Be a Christian Artist." Looks like it could be a full-fledged interview...

DISCUSSED: Franny and Zooey, Vince Guaraldi, Record Clubs, Caterwauling, Spiritual Frailty, Aretha Franklin, The Rev. Al Green, Improvised Testifying, Medical Garb, Kramer, Churchgoing Intellectuals, Psychedelia, I-IV Progression, Cock-Rock Posturing, Dante, Early B-52s, Overdubbed Exhalations, Doubt
One more item for my "stateside vacation to-do" list.

Solzhenitsyn speaks

In his first interview in the past three years with the Vesti Nedeli TV program on Russia's Channel Two, Solzhenitsyn, 88, said Russia was not a democratic country yet.

"We have had no democracy. I said it many times that we have nothing remotely similar to democracy," he said.

According to Solzhenitsyn, "many speakers play with the word 'democracy' in our country, declining it and hastily bringing to light its separate features, instead of democracy itself." He said there is freedom of expression and the press in Russia, "but it is only one of democratic signs," said Solzhenitsyn. "One sign does not mean democracy," the writer said.

He said the key to democratic success in Western countries was organizing the work of local self-government. "We are so impressed with Western democracies because their local self-government is very efficient," said Solzhenitsyn.

He stressed that "democracy cannot be imposed from above, by clever laws or wise politicians."

"It [democracy] must not be forced [upon people] like a cap. Democracy can only grow upwards, like a plant. Democracy must begin at the local level, within the local self-government. Only then can it develop further," said the writer.
Read the rest here. (Via Maud Newton)

06 June 2005

Chasing light

A glimpse of what Sabrina's been working on can be found here...The True and the Questions...slated for a December release.

Meanwhile, I need to get my report cards finished. I've had a lovely, breezy day of grace. I got ready for work this morning and ambled downstairs, only to discover that it was a holiday.

Who knew that you could have two three-day weekends in a row?

An interesting proposition

Jesse Kornbluth at HeadButler thinks Oprah could've done better by Faulkner:
Late last week, Oprah's Book Club chose three novels by William Faulkner for the summer months: "As I Lay Dying," "The Sound and the Fury" and "Light in August."

These are great novels. I know. I haven't just read them, I've studied them. All of them --- at Harvard, my English tutorial one term was nothing but Faulkner. With a bourbon in one hand and a pencil in another, I spent the weeknights of several months plowing through a dozen Faulkner novels and a ream of Faulkner criticism. And while I am the better person for the experience --- and a lifelong admirer of Faulkner's achievement --- what I mostly remember is what a tough slog it was. What work it was. How certain I was that I'd never want to read most of these novels --- these great American classics --- ever again.

When Oprah speaks, America listens, so the three-volume set of the novels Oprah picked -- 1,152 pages of Faulkner, a bargain on Amazon.com at $17.97 --- has leapt to #2 on the Amazon bestseller list. That means houses across the country which only have "The Da Vinci Code" and "Tuesdays with Morrie" on their bookshelves will now greet books by a novelist who would have been lionized by the symbolist writers of 19th century France. That's thrilling.

But I have no illusions about this summer reading project --- I'll be stunned if 10% of Oprah's devotees reach page 100 of any of these novels.

The tragedy in Oprah's summer reading list? There are three books by Faulkner much better suited to her purposes. She just picked the wrong Faulkner.

The right Faulkner for Oprah fans? Three novels that Faulkner conceived as a trilogy: "The Hamlet," "The Town" and "The Mansion." Compared to other Faulkner novels, these 1,088 pages ($17.61 at Amazon.com) read like pulp fiction --- the plot is lurid, the motivations of the characters couldn't be more contemporary, and the style breaks no new ground. [...]

"The Hamlet" is the story of Flem Snopes, all grown up and just about as unethical as his father, and of Flem's effect on the small, unsuspecting village of Frenchman's Bend. Flem's impotent --- but only below the belt. He doesn't plan to die a lowly worker. So when he discovers that Will Varner's daughter Eula is pregnant without a husband, he steps forward and offers to help Will out. That makes Flem the son-in-law of one of the town's leading landowners --- and neatly positioned to start taking over the hamlet. (This book was adapted into a film called "The Long Hot Summer," starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Orson Welles, Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury.)

Eula is a sensual woman, with a body that turns any man's thoughts to just one thing. In "The Town," Flem seems not to notice. He's too busy getting promoted --- first to chief of the power plant, then to vice president of the bank. Can the presidency of the bank be denied him? And, along the way, can he get his revenge on the man who's been having an eighteen-year affair with Eula?

In the final volume, justice finally comes Flem's way. But not before Frenchman's Bend has been transformed --- eaten alive, really --- by the kind of man never before seen in these parts. That is because Flem represents the unethical, unrestrained capitalism that only could flourish in the South after the Civil War had stripped it of its codes of honor. Flem has only one goal and one emotion --- power, and the love of it. In our time, we know this kind of man well. And, as often as not, we live in "communities" where people used to be like family to their neighbors and now barely recognize them to wave.

Rapacious capitalism. The loss of our sense of "home." Men who use women to advance their master plans. These are themes that the women in Oprah's nationwide book club could really get into.

Or they could do --- could try to do, anyway --- the reading Oprah's assigned them.

Good luck, ladies. "As I Lay Dying" has multiple narrators who favor the stream-of-conscious style. The first section of "The Sound and the Fury" is narrated by an idiot who slips in and out of the present with only italics to guide you. "Light in August" is a comparatively straightforward "traditional" novel, but it's 528 pages.

It's too bad. William Faulkner is probably the greatest literary novelist our country ever produced. The way into his writing is through books that are pleasurable --- great stories, unforgettable characters. For me, those books are "The Hamlet," "The Mansion" and "The Town." Maybe after Oprah's fans have struck out with the brainbusters, they'll give these books a chance.
Hm. He may be on to something. I haven't read these three, although I have a lot of love for ones she picked. Although they are complicated, innovative, rich novels, I didn't find them incomprehensible. And I would reread them again in a heartbeat.

But then again, I was a lit major. What do I know?

UPDATE: Kornbluth experienced some backlash for the above and gave additional thoughts yesterday.

Advent of vorticism

"The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough."
On this day in 1913 Ezra Pound published "In a Station of the Metro."

In his account of the poem's genesis, Pound describes seeing the fleeting faces in a Paris subway one morning and thinking that he might need to "found a new school of painting" in order to capture the experience.

He first wrote a 30-line poem, then a 15-line poem and then, a year-and-a-half after the event, the handful of words that would become the poster-poem of "imagism."

"The image is not an idea. It is a radiant node or cluster; it is what I can, and must perforce, call a VORTEX...."

Pound coined the name of "vorticism," though it was Wydham Lewis who made it famous. Above, a 1920 Lewis sketch of Pound.
(Via Today in Literature)

State of the blog

If you haven't already, head over to Return of the Reluctant, Chekhov's Mistress, The Elegant Variation, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, GalleyCat, and Beatrice for great coverage of this weekend's BookExpo America held in New York. On the whole, very amusing takes on the ("not grotesque") "book business".

Such committed blogging underscores the modest aspirations of this current going concern, but it's a credit of the litblogosphere that small cyberspaces for favorite things (such as yours truly) can coexist with the more professional affairs. It's a privilege to be part of the unending conversation about literature.

Meanwhile, over at ReadySteadyBlog, Mark Thwaite speaks up for the British litblogs. Hear, hear!

And for good measure, Ms. Croc reviews various films screened at the Seattle International Film Festival.

05 June 2005

Wild Thing

Over at NPR there are two wonderful audio clips of a recent interview with Maurice Sendak.
His favorite subject? "Scaring children."

His most treasured possessions? Mickey Mouse memorabilia.

His best buddy? A boisterous German Shepherd named for Herman Melville.
But there are many insightful and wry moments in this conversation with one of the greatest authors around. Hear his thoughts on George Eliot and why "writing for children" doesn't mean thinking about what children would like.

incarnate gaps in Time & Space

Reading Allen Ginsberg's "Poetry, Violence, and the Trembling Lambs or Independence Day Manifesto" (via wood s lot), I'm compelled to post some of the most moving lines of Howl.

When will compassion become innate reflex?
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're really in the total animal soup of time--

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

Recommended reading

Maud points us to Terry Teachout's essay on "Culture in the Age of Blogging":
One thing of which I am sure is that the common culture of my youth is gone for good. It was hollowed out by the rise of ethnic “identity politics,” then splintered beyond hope of repair by the emergence of the web-based technologies that so maximized and facilitated cultural choice as to make the broad-based offerings of the old mass media look bland and unchallenging by comparison. For all the nostalgia with which I look back on the days of the Top 40, the Book-of-the-Month Club, and The Ed Sullivan Show, I prefer to make my own cultural decisions, and I welcome the ease with which the new media permit me to do so.

At the same time, however, I still feel the need for a common space in which Americans can come together to talk about the things that matter to us all. And so my hope is that the blogosphere, for all its fissiparous tendencies, will evolve over time into just such a space. No doubt there will always be shouting in the blogosphere, but it need not all be past each other. When the history of blogging is written a half-century from now, its chroniclers may yet record that the highest achievement of the Internet, a seemingly impersonal piece of postmodern technology, turned out to be its unprecedented ability to bring creatures of flesh and blood closer together.

A cartoonist or an astronaut

From Bill Watterson's introduction to The Complete Calvin and Hobbes:
I’ve loved comic strips as long as I can remember. As a kid, I knew I wanted to be either a cartoonist or an astronaut. The latter was never much of a possibility, as I don’t even like riding in elevators. I kept my options open until seventh grade, but when I stopped understanding math and science, my choice was made. There is great personal satisfaction in attending to detail and quality, and I remain very proud of the standards the strip met day after day. I also liked the responsibility of knowing that, succeed or fail, it was all my own doing. This approach kept the strip very honest and personal--everything having to do with Calvin and Hobbes expressed my own ideas, my own values, my own way. I wrote every word, drew every line, and painted every color. It’s a rare gift to find such fulfilling work and I tried to show my appreciation by giving the strip everything I had to offer.

03 June 2005

Milo takes a trip

The Count has a lovely selection of passages out of The Phantom Tollbooth ("the best book in the world"):
'Haven't we met before? I'm the Everpresent Wordsnatcher, and I'm sure I know your friend the bug.' And then he leaned all the way forward and gave a terrible knowing smile.

The Humbug, who was too big to hide and too frightened to move, denied everything.

'Is everyone who lives in Ignorance like you?' asked Milo.

'Much worse,' he said longingly. 'But I don't live here. I'm from a place very far away called Context.'

'Don't you think you should be getting back?' suggested the bug, holding one arm up in front of him.

'What a horrible thought.' The bird shuddered. 'It's such an unpleasant place that I spend almost all my time out of it...'
Also, check out Jules Feiffer's site. There's a lot of great stuff there. (My other brush with greatness is that he's the great-uncle of a friend of mine. Imagine being able to say "Uncle Jules"! Apparently, he's quite the character.)

02 June 2005

On Hopkins

Ms. Bookish's recent post on Gerard Manley Hopkins links to a lecture by Hugh Kenner. In examining The Wreck of the Deutschland, Kenner makes some interesting observations of Hopkins' use of Swinburne:
Save for the arresting fact that on 25th August 1868, when Gerard was 24, the family dog had the sense to bite Robert Bridges, his domestic circumstances have little to tell us. A more fruitful field to investigate would be the Victorian passion for Comparative Linguistics, which helps explain his study of a language as exotic as Welsh. Another would be the overarching rhythmic presence of a poet not then respectable at all: Algernon Charles Swinburne. Swinburne's remedy for what had become the deadly and deadening iambic was wholesale imitation of what, by iambic standards, seemed to be Greek rhythms. Intoxicated by such rhythms, the stories have it, Oxford undergraduates would circle the quadrangle, chanting: ... For winters rains and ruins are over, And all the season of snows and sins ... (Atalanta in Calydor@'212)

The power of assonance and alliteration joins words in pairs and triplets; force yourself to linger for sense, and you have to construct a scenario. There is no unlikelihood for which the mind cannot construct a scenario; Conan Doyle might have invented Sherlock Holmes solely to demonstrate that. Winter's rains and ruins - Easy. English winters are rainy, with a greyness that can make ruins look more ruinous. Season of snows and sins - Winter and snow: no problem. But sins? Well, snow forces people to stay inside, where they make up for the bleakness by rituals of fornication. But we're being ingenious; what links season and snows and sins is primarily the driving rhythm, that insistent alliteration. Thus the verse's authority stamps what the mind can make shift to unravel. In that light, examine the surge and sway of The Wreck of the Deutschland (28):

Thou mastering me
God! giver of breath and bread;
World's strand, sway of the sea;
Lord of living and dead;
Thou has bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh,
And after it almost unmade, what with dread,
Thy doing.. and dost thou touch me afresh?
Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.

[...] Hopkins is subverting Swinburne as fast as he's using him. Underneath that breath and bread, which sounds so Swinburnian, is a stable orthodox structure, if we can just slow down enough to see it. [...]

and dost thou touch me afresh?
Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.

God incarnate felt the finger of Doubting Thomas, an archetype of us all. But these lines seem to say that Thomas, made in God's image, was reenacting a frequent gesture of God. As God's finger--that's a potent trope. His finger inscribed the Law on the stone tablets. Jesus said (Luke 11.20) that he cast out devils with the finger of God. He wrote with His finger words upon the ground (John 8:6). And Hopkins hinds finger into his alliterative sequence: fasten, flesh, afresh, feel, finger, find. That hints at a formula for Resurrection.

The 35 stanzas of The Wreck of the Deutschland embody two main devices. One--learned from Swinburne--is the binding assonance, which seems to be producing the words as the rhythm moves forward. The other is a cool awareness of depths of history embedded in those English words: something Hopkins derived from inward-ness with the culture that was moving toward a New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, of which the first fascicle was published five years before he died.
One could spend decades studying his work.

In a related note, Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission has put one of Hopkins' poems to music. "No Storms Come" is a lovely, spare adaptation of "Heaven-Haven."