April 12, 2015

God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins: "And though the last lights off the black West went...."


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 gerardvanderleun at April 12, 2015 2:14 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Hopkins was great, but he was no Maya Angelou.

Posted by: B Lewis at April 12, 2015 12:14 PM

I would love for this to be read at my father's funeral on Friday, but I don't think too many would understand it. It's the sort of poem you turn over and round in the mind the way you would turn round in your mouth a small jawbreaker of many layers and flavors.
I read this and pause at every line, merely for the pleasure of the rhythm and rhyme.
It is just beautiful, Mr. V....and so very comforting. Thank you for posting it.

Posted by: Jewel at April 12, 2015 5:08 PM

Well, you could recite it yourself and, it's not for them, it's for you.

Interesting perspective in that first picture, never seen it from that angle before.
If you squint your eyes slightly it looks like a steer skull.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 12, 2015 5:24 PM