We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves - goes itself; myself it speak and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came.
I say more: the just man justices; Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces; Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is - Christ - for Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men's faces.
Long-time readers of Maggie's know what a fan I am of Hopkins and his "sprung rhythm." Like everything else we post on Saturday Verse, it must be read out loud or it is wasted. Hopkins uses odd accent marks. The gloomy, sexually-conflicted Jesuit produced some wonderful pearls for God but, unfortunately, burned everything he had written before he entered the seminary, so we don't have too much of his stuff.
Ås sounded words suck wind, phrasèd rilles froth rôck;
As hámmered onto board like squarïsh pegs
Keys pìng; like each drunk cup begs, each tucked leg’s
Lig flexed tests rañge to stretch out its block;
Ëach reader soul tries his thìng and the stock:
Seems that nøt being the poet he flails;
Derails- twists gîst-pîth; himself inërt but regales,
Lying ‘What I say hé means: in that don’t balk.’
Bird Dog, I share your love of Hopkins, whom I discovered when I was a college freshman. And you are right--Hopkins must be read aloud to appreciate the utter stunning beauty of his poetry--unlike anyone else's.
I memorized Hopkins' "Spring and Fall" as I had an elderly English professor, a dear woman, gentle Southern born and raised with a soft Georgia accent. Her contention was that all educated people should memorize key poems. She loved Houseman's "Cherry Tree" especially.
Of course, that was 1964--and there were still people who were educated and those who wanted to be. Thanks to her, I walked around mumbling verses to myself "sotto voce" from Hopkins, Years, Houseman, Keats, et al.
Today, she'd be ostracized by the politically correct imbeciles who dominate our universities--especially in the humanities.
Years later, when I was still toiling in the mental gulags of the Left, I worked for a progressive (aka, Marxist-lite) Catholic organization comprised of lots of polyester-clad feminist nuns and dweeby priests. I quoted the last stanza of "Kingfishers" ina report to some Franciscan board members. The feminists, nuns and laywomen, hit the ceiling and were so p..sed at me for quoting these horrid male patriarchal verses that they literally screamed and turned beet red. The "progressive" priests all hid in their respective offices. Hell hath no fury like a radical femininst encountering real beauty and true culture.
Yet, they all fade, and Hopkins, et al, will go on as long as there are ears to drink the sheer beauty of elegant verse and deep prayer.
Yes John--I know those places and experiences of which you speak. I am at a stage in life where I cannot decide who, or is it which, is worse--the femnazis, or the castratos! However, enough with that today;today is about poetry--beautiful, glorious poetry. I too have been blessed along the years with teachers who required me to memorize poems. I began with Yates and still favor him, but thanks to BD's efforts I have come to truly enjoy Hopkins.
BD--I think you should know I jump out of bed every Saturday morning eager to get my cup of coffee in hand and sit down to the poem of the day. Have you been able to find someone on video or audio reading this particular poem? It is a little difficult and I would enjoy learning how to 'do it better'!
Glory be to God for dappled things,
For skies of couple-color as a brindled cow,
Fresh-firecoal chestnut falls, and finches'wings,
Landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow, and plow,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange,
Whatever is fickle, freckled, who knows how,
With sweet, sour, swift, slow, adazzle, dim,
He fathers forth Whose beauty is past change: