Monday, January 26, 2009

A poem for Monday

An old favorite of mine, all the better when read aloud:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, and have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can food fell, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights of the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent 
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright
wings.

Gerard Manley Hopkins


This is a good poem, I think, for midwinter, for a time of difficult economy, for a conflicted heart.

Hopkins himself was a complicated man--manic, simultaneously anguished and joyful, isolated and longing for connection. Some of his poems virtually sing, as this one does, with the internal sounds shimmering through it like water. Others capture the deep melancholy he felt so often toward his later years. I think the flux in his life translated into something almost tangible in his writing. I love this poem for its alchemy of juxtaposition. What do you think?

DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

5 comments:

La Belette Rouge said...

A juxtiposition of alchemy. I think I like that phrase almost as much as the poem. I hope that you are enjoying a comfy, warm, mid-winters day.

Favorite line of the poem: "and far all this, nature is never spent." I love the sense of the generosity of nature that this line inspires.

Irene Latham said...

My favorite line is the same as Belette's. :) I love the poems you choose to share!

Lydia said...

A remarkable poem, and new-to-me poet. I loved this for its action and sensuality:
"Generations have trod, have trod, and have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell..."

The Seeker said...

Like LBR I just think the phrase "A juxtiposition of alchemy" so "intriguing"...

Lovely poem, here it's raining a lot, pity I'm not at home but still working (well almost ;) ).

Thank you for sharing this and also for your so nice and kind comments here and in my blog.
I feel warm inside and believe me today I need it...

xoxo

Paula said...

What a powerful poem. I enjoyed it very much- thank you :)

 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.