Friday, July 20, 2007

Poetry Friday 59

It's been many years since I saw a Kingfisher, but I like this poem about the Kingfisher by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves - goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying
What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is?
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.


This is quite a complicated poem and you might find this lecture by poet Desmond Egan, delivered during the 2004 International Gerard Manley Hopkins Summer School, useful in illuminating it.

4 comments:

Sara said...

Thank you. You have to read this one aloud, I think, to hear the ringing of the words like bells.

Michele said...

I tend to anyway - read poetry aloud that is - and without any music playing otherwise the rhythm of the music will interfere with that of the poetry...

Kelly Fineman said...

I just read this one the other day after my brother spouted part of it last weekend (he's a big Hopkins fan), and toyed with posting it today, but decided to put it off in favor of a Harry Potter thingummy. Interesting how our choices are often synched.

*Happy sigh* I love that poem.

Michele said...

Very interesting about our synchronicity...

You chose Harry Potter over Hopkins ? I'm - more than a little surprised !