Friday, March 12, 2010

God's Grandeur -a poem

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.

Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-1889

This is a thought-provoking poem and requires concentrated thought to understand, also! But I like it. Hopkins struggled with his great talent and his concept of religious life, somehow not quite sure that poetry should belong to a life of faith. He was finally convinced that his talent was God-given, a wonderful and special gift. His expressions, unconventional rhythms, and celebrations of the beauty of God speak of a very unique character. I took the liberty of setting out the lines in a way that, to me, makes this great poem easier to follow...that's why the beginning word in every line is not capitalized.

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