1887

n Acta Academica - Smeared magnificence : nature and denaturalisation in the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dennis Brutus

Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0587-2405

Abstract

The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins is a metaphysical articulation of Catholic theology eulogising the multifarious beauty and magnificence of God. Dennis Brutus's ostensibly very different work presents a realistic, earth-bound, highly politicised picture of the harrowing consequences of the apartheid system. Yet, as this article demonstrates, the sensibilities of the two poets and their measured artistic responses may be shown to spring from similar humanist origins as well as from correspondences in their lives and personalities. It is argued that Hopkins and Brutus are both essentially nature poets in the Wordsworthian mode, reverencing the spiritual beauty of nature and lamenting its denaturalisation by humanity - the "smearing" of the magnificence of the creation. This reading goes on to suggest that despite their different contexts both poets are able to transcend the humanity / nature dichotomy with visions of the regeneration of nature by the erstwhile despoiler.

Die poësie van Gerard Manley Hopkins is 'n metafisiese uiting van Katolieke teologie tot lof van die veelsoortige skoonheid en grootsheid van God. Dennis Brutus se oënskynlik baie andersoortige werk bied 'n realistiese, aardse, grootliks verpolitiseerde beeld van die hartverskeurende gevolge van die apartheidstelsel. Hierdie artikel toon egter aan dat die gevoelighede én die weldeurdagte artistieke response van die twee digters ontspring aan gelyksoortige humanistiese opvattings asook aan ooreenkomste in hulle lewens en persoonlikhede. Dit word geredeneer dat beide Hopkins en Brutus in wese natuurdigters van Wordsworthiaanse inslag is, wat die vergeestelikte skoonheid van die natuur besing en die verontnatuurliking daarvan deur die mens - die "bevlekking" van die skeppingsgrootheid - betreur. Daar word voorts gesuggereer dat beide digters nogtans, binne hulle verskillende kontekste, daarin slaag om die mens / natuur-digotomie te oorstyg met visioene van die wedergeboorte van die natuur deur toedoen van die voormalige vernieler.

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/content/academ/34/3/EJC15249
2002-12-01
2019-10-20

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