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Other critics have seen the parallelism in Hopkins's poems only on the auditory level of alliterations and assonances. Lichtmann, however, builds on the views held by Hopkins himself, who spoke of a parallelism of words and of thought engendered by the parallelism of sound. She distinguishes the integrating Parmenidean parallelisms of resemblance from the disintegrating Heraclitean parallelisms of antithesis. The tension between Parmenidean unity and Heraclitean variety is resolved only in the wordless communion of contemplation. This emphasis on contemplation offers a corrective to the overly emphasized Ignatian interpretation of Hopkins's poetry as meditative poetry. The book also makes clear that Hopkins's preference for contemplation sharply differentiates him from his Romantic predecessors as well as from the structuralists who now claim him.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 1844-1889 Criticism and interpretation, Christian poetry, English Catholic authors History and criticism, Contemplation in literature