This article addresses the problem of the general semantic structure of Gerard Manley Hopkins's poetry; it focuses on the analysis of one of the most difficult poems in the Hopkins canon, The Wreck of the Deutschland. The essay begins with a brief description of the two major semantic dimensions of his poetry, which have been brought to the fore by previous studies, and suggests that Hopkins's poetry as a whole may be conceptualized by means of the notion of "counterpoint." The main part of the essay applies this notion in the detailed analysis of The Wreck, foregrounding Hopkins's sophisticated theological argument, complex rhetorical strategies, and passionate faith, along with diverse hermeneutic difficulties that Hopkins underscores, such as indeterminacy, historicity, and the resistant materiality of the existential.


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pp. 823-847
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