December 18, 2010

Poem and Prayer #5: Stanley Kunitz and Gerard Manley Hopkins (Part III)

Editor's Note: I'm tempted to simply write, "Ta-da!" Wow, I just did! Behold the final post that includes "God's Grandeur" all written out on the screen. Many thanks to Martin Dickinson (@dickinsonpoet) for putting this together, especially during the season of Advent.


This inspiring poem was written in February and March of 1877.

In his sermons and devotional writings Hopkins observes: “all things therefore are charged with love, are charged with God and if we know how to touch them give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him.”

And here, in all its glory, is the poem by Hopkins that inspired Stanley Kunitz:

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 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

Icon of Gerard Manley Hopkins by William Hart McNichols

2 comments:

David Weller, OSL said...

Poetry is the most, beautiful, elegant form of writing around. I can't tell you the sheer joy I felt after the second reading of this Hopkins piece; oftentimes it takes at least a couple of readings to grasp a poem and comprehend it. But a poem is a work of art in words, a snapshot of time in meaning. I encourage we always have ready access to great poetry.

David Weller, OSL said...

Nature
by David Weller, OSL


I can hear crickets chirping in the dead of night
must be the harvest moon
exclaiming, "I need you..."