Thursday, 30 April 2009

Poetry Month

Amy at Live, Learn Knit suggested celebrating Poetry Month in the USA by several ways. One was posting a poem on a blog.

I think I first read any of Gerard Manley Hopkins work in my last year at High School. I was taken by his sprung rhythm which works a bit like syncopation in jazz music. His eye for detail and his descriptions took my breath away then and still do.. I find it hard to pick a poem to put here but this one is a fairly easy introduction, more so than many of his other poems. I've had a book of Hopkins on my desk for years and use it as a refreshment of spirit. When I left home, mine was packed away. After a few weeks here, I could not cope not having one around and in the thousands of books DIL has, she did not have a copy. I now have two. I just had to buy another.

Hopkins was a priest in the late nineteenth century but not all his poetry and writings have a religious theme.

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 now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, 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 foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off 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.


M-H said...

Margaret, are you grieving
Over goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie...

Love Hopkins.

Jan said...

I almost posted that one. It was difficult to make up my mind.

TinkingBell said...

What a great choice! Lovely poem - so many great poems and so little time - maybe I should try for a poem a day, just for pleasure!

Jill said...

Thanks, Jan, I didn't know Hopkins. I like it.

amy said...

Oh, Hopkins, nice choice. At the start of the month I had a wee bit of worry that I might have a hard time coming up with a poem for every day, but now I'm appalled at everyone I didn't get a chance to include. Like TinkingBell said: so many great poems, so little time!!

Lynne said...

Ooo! Have to pinch the idea!! Thanks for sharing!