Thronging the Ear: Hopkins and the Counterpoint of Prosody

Thronging the Ear: Hopkins and the Counterpoint of Prosody Hopkins Quarterly, 38.1-2, published by agreement of the editors in conjunction with Victorian Poetry, 49, no.2, as sharing the common theme, "Prosody." John Golden Florida Atlantic University "I fumble a little at music, at counterpoint, of which in course of time I shall come to know something; for this, like every other study, after some drudgery yields up its secrets, which seem inpenetrable [sic] at first."1 Hopkins, aged thirty-nine, wrote this to Richard Dixon in June, 1883; he would die six years later. There is more than humility in this self-caricature: Hopkins's life-long interest in music took the form of a perpetual amateur's struggle. As a child, he sang rounds and songs written by his father, but he could not read music. He never learned to play an instrument well, but in the last decade of his life he set several poems (usually not his own) to music. He would be seen in his last years at University College, Dublin, sitting at a piano and strumming with one finger, trying out melodies.2 Yet Hopkins has become a central figure in discussions of the relation of music to prosody in particular because of his notion of counterpoint rhythm. Counterpoint http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

Thronging the Ear: Hopkins and the Counterpoint of Prosody

Victorian Poetry, Volume 49 (2) – Jun 9, 2011

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © West Virginia University Press
ISSN
1530-7190
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Abstract

Hopkins Quarterly, 38.1-2, published by agreement of the editors in conjunction with Victorian Poetry, 49, no.2, as sharing the common theme, "Prosody." John Golden Florida Atlantic University "I fumble a little at music, at counterpoint, of which in course of time I shall come to know something; for this, like every other study, after some drudgery yields up its secrets, which seem inpenetrable [sic] at first."1 Hopkins, aged thirty-nine, wrote this to Richard Dixon in June, 1883; he would die six years later. There is more than humility in this self-caricature: Hopkins's life-long interest in music took the form of a perpetual amateur's struggle. As a child, he sang rounds and songs written by his father, but he could not read music. He never learned to play an instrument well, but in the last decade of his life he set several poems (usually not his own) to music. He would be seen in his last years at University College, Dublin, sitting at a piano and strumming with one finger, trying out melodies.2 Yet Hopkins has become a central figure in discussions of the relation of music to prosody in particular because of his notion of counterpoint rhythm. Counterpoint

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jun 9, 2011

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