Monday, March 14, 2011

Gerard Manley Hopkins :: Editors' Picks

It isn't that I dislike religious imagery in poetry, it's just that a part of my brain rebels and fights and screams whenever I hear it. It takes a bit of work and an excellent poet to crack through that prejudice and make me listen. Hopkins does, and his poem "God's Grandeur" shows the reader the wonder this planet can instill if carefully observed. He pulls you from ephemeral beauty into the blear of humanities' devastation of their environment. Yet there is no "the end is nigh" in this poem. With a touch of grace he pulls you out of the mortal tragedy in time to show you it's eminent rejuvenation. Such is the hope of religion I guess. Lets hope he's right:

God's Grandeur

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.

-Posted by Adam Shutz

1 comment:

  1. Hopkins is a favorite of mine. And this is one of his good ones. Thank you for bringing it forward for a new generation.