The Book was Gerard Manley Hopkins.



Paul considered himself
A decent Catholic.
Mary entered large
But not as large as Her Boy.
English prof, head of Department
Boston College.
Poet, biographer.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, for one.
Priest, poet, penitent, word painter was Hopkins.

Decision made to enter
Thirty day Retreat
At seaside Jesuit Abbey.
Wife Eileen at home
Bearing with the separation.
But Paul knew he
Needed separation.
The Exercises of Ignatius Loyola.
A review of that man’s heroic life.
Heroic struggles, meditations.
Eventual grouping of the Jesuits.
Martyrs many.


“Paul let’s talk at ten thirty.”
Mentor, pathfinder J.J.
Passages of Word from Isaiah,
Matthew, Hosea, Psalmist.
Sections from The Exercises.
Quiet times in bedroom or
Picture window Book Room.
Refectory Table.
What was Adam’s sin?
Today’s front page bad stuff
My sin?
How dies one perceive Hell?
For Hitler, or for oneself?
What is the assured
Road to Redemption, Rescue, Relief.
Repentance. Right thinking.
Friend J. J. Had wept, bled, trudged
Through all the stuff. Real currency now.
And through Satan’s worst.
Boredom, fatigue and bitched memories.

Paul was determinedly in for the
Four weeks and salty air.
And rest as laid out in
Hebrews 3 and 4.
Had just covered the first week.
The breaking to make
More room for Christ.
More room for others.

About this poem

University prof, poet, biographer Paul Mariani writes a book, Thirty Days on Retreat with the Exercises of St. ignatius. Copyright 2002.

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Written on March 07, 2023

Submitted by dougb.19255 on March 07, 2023

Modified by dougb.19255 on March 09, 2023

1:15 min read
7

Quick analysis:

Scheme AXBXCXDEX DXFXEFEGXXXF FBGCXXXXHXHXAXXXXXXX GXHXXXXX
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,313
Words 252
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 9, 12, 20, 8

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    "The Book was Gerard Manley Hopkins." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Apr. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/152901/the-book-was-gerard-manley-hopkins.>.

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