Our Strangest Poet?

Today is the birthday of two poets who can be a little opaque, contemporary John Ashberry and Gerard Manley Hopkins, the strangest Victorian. His poems would have been incomprehensible to his contemporaries, but when they were published in 1918, nearly three decades after his death, they were a clarion call for poets to modernize. He deeply affected writes from W. H. Auden to Seamus Heaney; indeed, many poets, these two included, have had to outgrow their Hopkins period. Don’t try to understand the attached poem; just let it roll over you. And for heaven’s sake, read it aloud. It’s a beaut.