Monday, October 24, 2016

God's Grandeur by Gerard Manly Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

More Hopkins, more easily read if one reads it without a pause at the end of a verse, as if these are sentences and not portions of a poem.  Then, after his meaning is rendered with more clarity, return and appreciate that liminal structure of the verses.

Despite our clumsy sins, the Holy Ghost ever remains with kindness of regard and the brightness of hope.