Ron Hansen
September’s end 1877,
the year called his annus mirabilis,
because his gift for poetry was dis-
covered afresh, given inscape and leaven
by his imitation of Christ in the heaven
of third-year theology. Bridges dis-
missed his friend’s faith as medieval, but this
calling was his solace and source, the seven

sacraments his soul’s instress, a selfyeast
that could praise the grandeur of God contained
in the splendid thisness of things. Of least
importance to Hopkins then was fame gained
from writing: he sought only to be a good priest.
And in that gift of gift was he ordained.

Ron Hansen is at work on a novel about Gerard Manley Hopkins and his writing of The Wreck of the Deutschland. Hopkins was ordained on Sept. 23, 1877.

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