Poetic Pause: Gerard Manley Hopkins on the Resurrection
[In the middle of each week, Wednesdays or Thursdays, I'll be posting a "Poetic Pause." I hope the poetry's rhythms are life-giving in the rhythm of your week.]
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) is, I think, my favorite poet. I think this is because he was a priest. He writes as one unexceptionally alive to the ‘thingness’ of things, and to the brilliance of the tiniest of the divine brushstrokes in Creation. Poetry was never his livelihood; Christ was, the Church was. And so what he wrote is everywhere shot through with a spiritual visionariness: a keen wakefulness to the double reality of the seen and temporal and the unseen and eternal. He captures the intersecting beauties of both, distilling them into little drops of morning dew that refresh and awaken the dying grass of the soul. Oh, and wait until you hear the glassy, stony, bony, brassy reverberations of his poems!
Read him, and read him often–this is my philosophy.
Here’s one of my current obsessions, titled (somewhat unappealingly), “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of comfort of the Resurrection.” (NB: GMH used a lot of diacritical markings, which are difficult to reproduce, so I’ve left most of them out. Also, if the type of the poem is too small, click on it and it will expand.)