Spiritual desolation, while a perennial human experience, is expressed in historically-determined diction. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) and Charles Williams (1886-1945) are an interesting case study, especially as Hopkins shaped Williams' later prosody. "My Own Heart" (Hopkins) shares desolation with Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, and reading "My Own Heart" through Williams theory of spiritual "schism" as literary analysis reveals a cleft self similar to the split kingdom in "Prayers of the Pope" (Williams). Neither writer excludes hope: Hopkins' Ignatian language frames "My Own Heart" as a hopeful surrender, while Williams offers hope via occult vocabulary.
Higgins, Sørina and Talbot, Rebecca Tirrell
""Between Two Strange Hearts": Spiritual Desolation in the Later Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins & Charles Williams,"
Inklings Forever: Published Colloquium Proceedings 1997-2016: Vol. 8
, Article 7.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol8/iss1/7