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Melancholy in Hopkins' Sonnets of Desolation Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) has been, first and foremost, a man of the cloth. He seems to have set his presents in musical composition, drawing, and poetry at a distant second for his ecclesiastical duties for the majority of his life, causing him to experience terrible bouts of depression. Hopkins poured out this depression in what are known as the Sonnets of Desolation, including "I wake up and feel the fell of dark, not day," "Not, I'll carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee," and "No Worst, there's none. Pitched past pitch of grief." In his 1970 essay entitled "The Dark Night of the Soul," Paul L. Mariani tells us that "while [Hopkins' buddy Robert] Bridges believed that Carrion Comfort was likely the sonnet Hopkins told him in May was written in blood," No worst, there is none was probably supposed" (59). "No Worst" appears to be set rather firmly in the lowest valley of the depression, and the cumulative impact of unrealized professional goals, political dreams, and artistic skills contributed to its construction. The finality of the phrasing Hopkins decided to open the sonnet with brook no debate; things can get no worse. Part of the despair appeared from Hopkins' abstinence out of writing. He had been a Jesuit who converted to Catholicism in 1866. Due to his religious beliefs , he tried to deny his abilities; he felt that the degree of pleasure that he derived through poetic saying approached the sinful and "burnt his young poetry, ascertaining 'to write no more, as not belonging to my livelihood'" (Britannica 1). Nevertheless Hopkins seems to have been attracted to poetry. From 1875 he had started to write again; stirred by the death of five nuns who dared.