The Mnemosyne Weekly: Poem Twenty (Hopkins)

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Gerard Manley Hopkins
Pied Beauty

What a delicious poem this is. I could just eat it. The glorious, delight in sound is a true celebration of language, infused with divinity–dappled, pied, plotted, and pieced. As you can tell by now, I have drifted far from my original intention not to talk about the poems in the body of the post. They’re just too exciting.

So, this week our poet is Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins was a Victorian poet and Jesuit priest, known for developing a poetic technique known as sprung rhythm, which sought to imitate the natural patterns of speech.

To hear a beautiful reading of the poem, please click HERE.

If you’re new to the blog, you might want to look at the first Mnemosyne Post to find out what this project is all about.

                                             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.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Melissa, for this reminder of what a wonderful celebration of God’s creation can look like in poetic form. Gerard Manley Hopkins has so delightfully penned these verses, bringing to mind a flood of other wondrous visuals of “dappled things,” Dalmations, and frogs and Jerseys munching lush grass and …

    Scott Lutz