Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gerard

HopkinsBorn today in 1844 in Stratford, Gerard Manley Hopkins, one of my favorite poets (still today, though I don't always agree with his philosophy).

Bless you, Robert Bridges, for publishing his work after he died, in 1888, too young and no longer writing...

This one's my favorite:

The Wind-hover

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
   dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
   Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
   As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
   Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
   Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

   No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
   Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

(more Hopkins here)

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