Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems In Musical Adaptations
 
Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems In Musical Adaptations
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Paul Mariani
Paul Mariani has published six poetry collections including Deaths And Transfigurations (2005). He is the biographer of William Carlos Williams, John Berryman, Robert Lowell and Hart Crane. He holds a Chair in English at Boston College, is the former poetry editor for America magazine and published Gerard Manley Hopkins, A Life in 2008 (Viking/Penguin).
 
  Somehow Sean O’Leary has taken Hopkins’s lyrics—among the greatest written in any language in the past 200 years—and turned them with his alchemist’s hand into a medley of music of the very first order. Every song on this album—from the Wreck of the Deutschland to the curtal sonnet Pied Beauty is a surprise and a deep delight. You feel that line after line of Hopkins’s profoundly spiritual poetry has been somehow wedded to an electric and lyrical genius, the abrupt self of the poet flashing forth through the lyricist’s profoundly apt renditions. The result is not just beautifully modulated sound, but something like the cry of the poet breaking forth into our world in note after note, in word after sensuous, heartbreaking, God-saturated word. O’Leary has done what I never thought I would hear: a wonderfully new, electrically charged version of the poet dearest to the heart of many of us.
 
© Paul Mariani 2006