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Saturday 28 July 2018

Saturday Rave: Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

If you require your poets to be self-torturing then Gerard Manley Hopkins is the one for you.

The poor man spent a lot of his life being miserable (and probably mentally ill, too, poor man), but he wrote poetry that sparkles with delight in the natural world.

He was also notable for poetry glorying in the discipline imposed by God (he was a Jesuit priest).

Here's one of his nature poems, though it has a religious conclusion. He calls it a sonnet, though it ignores some of the usual sonnet-rules about rhythm and rhyme and line length.

But then Gerard Manley Hopkins believed that English verse had been rather going downhill since the Norman Conquest, so that's no great surprise.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things - 
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow,
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim,
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow, and plough,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow, sweet, sour, adazzle, dim,
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

File:Fringilla coelebs chaffinch male edit2.jpg
Chaffinch. Original photograph by MichaelMaggs, edited by  Arad

Word To Use Today: dapple. This word from the 1300s might be related to the Old Norse depill, which means spot.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure why you are advertising carpet cleaning, loft insulation, and water leak detection companies, here, but it's interesting to see your lovely Arabic script, both of you!


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