Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hopkins at Newman House

The Irish Times today carries an article on No Worst, There is None, a 'site-specific' production by The Stomach Box theatre company based on Gerard Manley Hopkins's 'Terrible Sonnets' or 'Sonnets of Desolation'. Three of these poems are on the Leaving Certificate course: 'I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day', 'Thou art indeed just, Lord', and the one which gives the title to this piece of drama.

The article, by Arminta Wallace, states:- The site-specific show will wend its way around Newman House on St Stephen’s Green, where Hopkins – an English convert to Catholicism – spent his final years, teaching Greek literature at UCD. During this time he wrote the poems known as “the terrible sonnets”; terrible, not because they’re no good, but because they’re full of physical and metaphysical terrors. The years he spent in Dublin saw Hopkins descend into an apparently bottomless depression, and the poems express the anguish of mental illness in a way few people have ever managed to articulate – including Sonnet 49, No Worst, There Is None , from which the play takes its title.

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