“The darling child of speech” : Gerard Manley Hopkins’s pedagogy of poetic performance.


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Gerard Manley Hopkins takes pains in his letters, sermons, journals, and notes to facilitate his readers’ experience of his poetry by advocating vocal performance. This study considers Hopkins’s thoughts on poetic performance and what they mean for good poetic pedagogy, especially for undergraduate readers. Hopkins’s poetry is particularly useful for a study like this because of its broad appeal and because, as I argue, Hopkins wrote his poetry with a specific “pedagogy” in mind. Thus, I begin with Hopkins’s pedagogy of poetic performance, explore its development in his other writings, and provide both a theoretical and theological framework for vocal performance of his poetry. With this study, I propose new lines of influence and draw from these studies practical conclusions about performing Hopkins’s poetry in the undergraduate classroom.



Gerard Manley Hopkins. Pedagogy. Performance. Poetry pedagogy. Pedagogy of performance. Augustine. Language. Theology of language.