Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Poetry: The Windhover: To Christ Our Lord

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a Jesuit Poet who was famous for employing the poetic style of sprung verse, which supposedly mirrored the natural patterns of poetry found in the English language.

This poem, "The Windhover" describes a Falcon living high above us in beauty, but then its audacious descent to the earth makes it "a billion times told lovelier."  
The Windhover: To Christ Our Lord
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.

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