The Wreck of the Deutschland
The Wreck of the Deutschland is a 35-stanza ode by Gerard Manley Hopkins with Christian themes, composed in 1875 and 1876, though not published until 1918. The poem depicts the shipwreck of the SS Deutschland. Among those killed in the shipwreck were five Franciscan nuns forced to leave Germany by the Falk Laws; the poem is dedicated to their memory.
- Hopkins's struggles while writing the poem form the basis for the Ron Hansen novel Exiles.
- The poem plays a major role in Anthony Burgess' third "Enderby" novel, The Clockwork Testament, or Enderby's End, in which Enderby pitches an idea for a movie adaptation of the poem and produces a script, only to be duly horrified when the resulting movie bears little resemblance to either his script or to Hopkins's poem. It also makes a notable appearance in Muriel Spark's novella The Girls of Slender Means, recited by the character Joanna, a budding teacher of elocution in World War II London.
- Both Hopkins's efforts to write the poem and the real-life events on the Deutschland are the subject of Simon Edge's novel The Hopkins Conundrum.
- The first several lines of the ode are part of a relief sculpture above the door inside the Palace of Nations, the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
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- Online text and basic information
- Readings of the Wreck. Ed. Peter Milward and Raymond Schoder. Chicago: University of Loyola Press, 1976.
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