Sir, - I thank Desmond Egan (October 6th) for correcting my misapprehension that Gerard Manley Hopkins was unhappy in Ireland and regarded his posting here as imposed exile. It's news to me, but I'm delighted to learn that Monasterevin brought him such happiness.
Mr Egan misrepresented what I wrote (an Irishman's Diary, August 26th). I did not "disparage several summer schools'. I supported the Yeats, Merriman and Parnell summer schools. I gave no opinion about McGill, Hewitt or Goldsmith. I had some question about commemorating Humbert and was doubtful about Hopkins on the basis of (i) tenuous links with Monasterevin (now dispelled by Mr Egan), and (ii) the difficulty of his poetry for most people, which I will return to. It was about C.D. Greaves that I had the strongest reservations.
Mr Egan will no doubt be surprised to learn that I like Hopkins's poetry. I taught it for 20 years as part of the Leaving Cert English syllabus. I'm sorry to have to report that very few of my students enthused about it. But I did my best for GMH, Mr Egan; honestly I did. - Yours, etc.,
Brian Maye, Mountain View Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.