Friday, March 1, 2013

365 Poems: What is all this juice and all this joy? Gerard knows

Paperwhites (via Creative Commons by RC Designer)
Day 60

March 1 is the first day of meteorological spring, so, happy spring! And I'm not making that up. It's real. Even says so.

In a good news/bad news situation, the dismal weather of this week has taken away any spring-like creativity I might have had. But that means one of my favorite poet friends, Gerard Manley Hopkins, can come to the rescue.

He's the author of (one of) my favorite poems, 'Pied Beauty': 

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.

'For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow'?  'With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim'? Gerard was a guy before his time. So we'll share this one, too:


Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

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