12.15.2009

Rosa's Poetry Archives:Gerard Manley Hopkins-Advent Reading Week 3


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 smeared 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 from 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 ah! bright wings.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

Why didn't anyone tell me about Gerard Manley Hopkins? I know I've heard his name before but 'God's Grandeur' is the first of his poems that I've stumbled across. This poem leapt off the page from an Advent devotional reader (from Holy Bible: Mosaic,) and carried me through the day. I found myself repeating, "There lives the dearest freshness deep down things" to myself as I planted daffodil bulbs and 'the Holy Ghost broods with warm breast, and ah! bright wings' as I cared for kith and kin. 

I was reminded somehow of Robert Southwell, although that could also have to do with the fact that they were both Jesuit priests. Last Advent I dusted off a Southwell poem from the Poetry Archives, and here it is. It's just about my favorite Nativity poem. Except Chesterton's. And Lucy Shaw's. Oh, and Lewis'. Maybe a series of Advent poetry posts is in order? I'll add that to the pile of good intentions.
And thank you Fr.William Hart McNichols, for the iconic portrait of Hopkins. Lovely.

1 comment:

rosa said...

An addendum:I was so irritated by the very unscholarly Wikipedia article on Gerard Manley Hopkins. Right at the beginning is a long section about Hopkins' sexuality and eroticism, as if the author assumed that this was the salient issue with Hopkins. Come on, Wiki!

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.