Denver, Colo., Mar 30, 2011 / 00:43 am
The deeply religious poetry of the Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins was the focus of a conference where participants praised the nineteenth-century poet’s craftsmanship and environmentalism, saying he and Bl. John Henry Newman were “revolutionaries in their time.”
“His poetry is beautiful, and inspiring. It’s full of deep thought and observation of nature, and the presence of God in every living thing and even in inanimate objects,” said Richard Austin, an English-born actor presently living in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia.
Austin, one of the presenters at the international Gerard Manley Hopkins Conference, held at Regis University in Denver March 25-27, said the poet’s work is particularly important at a time when mankind appears to be becoming more devoted to a “cult of the self” and is distancing itself from an “ideal of connection” to God and spirituality.
Hopkins saw poetry as “speech purged of dross, like gold in the furnace,” he told CNA on March 26.