This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Saturday Rave: Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring         

We're nearly half way through April, so surely this must be spring (or Spring, as Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it).

That's if you happen to live in the northern hemisphere, naturally.

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

Though I can't say it's been much like that so far.
Gerard Manley Hopkins was a Jesuit priest who was very afraid that writing poetry was sinful. He used a way of arranging his poetry so that instead of walking along in regular steps it uses the rhythm of the words to create a pressure which pushes it forward.
Hardly anyone ever saw his poetry. He did get a commission to write one poem, but it didn't get published.
He died at the age of forty four, and his reputation as a poet was made after his death when his friend Robert Bridges arranged for the publication of those of his works which hadn't been consigned to the bonfire.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

It makes what we have of his work all the more precious.
Word To Use Today: spring. This word comes from the Old English springan and is related to the  Sanskrit sprhayati, which means he desires, and the Old Slavonic pragu which means grasshopper.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! Will almost do instead of a weather spring, if you see what I mean. THough I think it HAS arrived actually. Everying is coming into leaf 'like something almost being said.' (P. Larkin!)