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Apparently, April is National Poetry Month! - Light One Candle

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April 7th, 2005

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01:32 pm - Apparently, April is National Poetry Month!
Here's one by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which I have always loved because he is so beautifully blunt with God about his frustration with his life.


Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum: verumtamen justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?

Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build—but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.
Current Mood: broody

(5 lit candles | Light a candle)


[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Date:April 8th, 2005 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I like that. I'll have to look this fellow up.
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Date:April 8th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
Some of his poems are just ridiculously complicated works of wordiness, but the really good ones (like above) are perfectly balanced lines of sound, rhythm, metaphor. I *love* reading/quoting them aloud (maybe it's the alliteration).
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Date:April 29th, 2005 07:58 am (UTC)

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I don't think I'd seen that poem of his before; I like. Conveys the frustration well.

The first two lines of his "God's Grandeur" have been stuck in my head ever since my college Poetry class: "The world is charged with the grandeur of God. / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil." I found his "Pied Beauty" much more to my taste, though, overall:

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 áll trádes, 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.
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Date:April 29th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Oh, yes...most of my friends have heard me randomly quote "Pied Beauty" at some point. :-) It's a splendid expression of all that I find attractive in the word, and once you start reciting it, you can't stop! It just pulls you along to the "Praise him!"

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