' The Gerard Manley Hopkins Summer School has made a brave effort to include a visual element in its programme only appropriate . . .'





'One of Europe's most exciting cultural forums'





' one of the best literary festivals in Ireland '


We leave the final word with the Artistic Director of the Hopkins Summer School
Timing - as Mr Glacken well knows - is all-important: in poetry, as in life, according to Desmond Egan.


I certainly enjoyed Mr Brendan Glacken's witty Word in Defence of G.M.Hopkins (Times Square 9 10 2000) - not least his suggestion that a three decade moratorium should be called on most contemporary 'poetry' (with some obvious exceptions, of course).

But surely, Mr. Glacken, in your own scenario, if someone sidled up to you, glanced nervously about and let slip the question,

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

or even,

If to the city sped, what waits him there?

much less

Did He who made the lamb make thee?

it is equally likely that you would move off just as pronto as any of us would on hearing Hopkins lines quoted out of context - although Shakespeare's Sonnets, Goldsmith's The Deserted Village, and Blake's Tiger Tiger ( quoted above) are among the most popular of English poems?

Timing - as Mr Glacken well knows - is all-important: in poetry, as in life.

That is why any of us, on occasion, can find ourselves reaching for lines from the great poets, Hopkins included, for understanding and thereby some kind of consolation,

It is the blight man was born for; It is Margaret you mourn for.

That is why we need poetry and art in general; and are less human for not having it. And - if I may say so - why summer schools, and the Hopkins Summer School, should be encouraged.

So, to continue our ballet imagery, I hope Mr Glacken will forgive me if I suggest that the 'fellow-sidling-up' part of his article reminded me just a little of the Cavan-born GAA coach (I knew him well, Horatio) who, on encountering his first ballet on TV, and realising that his followers were gazing up to him for a response, rose to the occasion with the comment,

'They must be verra fit!'

Yours etc.

Desmond Egan Artistic Director,
The G.M. Hopkins Summer School Newbridge Co.Kildare

Read Press Cuttings on HOPKINS International Summer School 2000
The Press on James McKenna, creator of the Hopkins Monument.

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