chapter  5
19 Pages

The Middle Poems

The first of Hopkinss Middle Poems is The Loss of the Eurydice, his first poem in seven months, written at The Mount and dated April 1878. His second shipwreck poem, it recounts the capsizing of the HMS Eurydice during a sudden, furious snow-squall off the Isle of Wight. The Loss of the Eurydice, in 30 stanzas, is more a narrative than an ode, yet has some ode-like reflections. Prompted by the lost ship and its cadets, it may also have been written because The Loss of the Eurydice was the topic for the students, English verse prize at The Mount. Francis Keegan SJ, Gerard Manley Hopkins at Mount St Marys College, Spinkhill, Hopkinss students in Figures were between the ages of 11 and 13. Hopkins may have used the onrushing sprung rhythm to reflect the speed of the sinking. Throughout the poem he employs regular sprung rhythm for strength and emphasis, whether with three stresses or four.