Tag Archives: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Will Spring in New England ever come?

A day following 4 inches of snow in CT, today we are expecting 50 degrees and gorgeous sunshine. But as a New Englander the grandeur of God even flames out with snowfall. But, it is time for spring!!! I think of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “God’s Grandeur”, especially the first line, is a good way to appreciate the day.

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.

Gerard Manley Hopkins
“Poems and Prose” (Penguin Classics, 1985)

Remembering Gerard Manley Hopkins, priest


On this date in 1889, Jesuit Father Gerard Manley Hopkins died. He was a convert and a poet. Hopkins struggled with having good physical and mental health.

Hopkins’ poetry is extraordinary and innovative in the use of language and form. It is said the was influence more by the Franciscan school than the Thomists.

O God, You did raise Your servant, Gerard Manley Hopkins, to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Your Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Your own Holy Name. We beseech You to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Your Holy Presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors. This we ask through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Give beauty back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver

A striking line
in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo,” “Give
beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s
giver.”  English Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins
(1844-1889) was renowned for his use of Blessed John Duns Scotus’ theology
and his creative use of language and rhythm (notice Hopkins’ characteristic
stresses on certain words).

The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo

(Maiden’s song
from St. Winefred’s Well)

The Leaden Echo

How to kéep–is there ány any, is
there none such, nowhere known some, bow or 

brooch or braid or brace, láce,
latch or catch or key to keep

Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, …
from vanishing away?

Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles

Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still 

sad and stealing messengers of grey?

No there ‘s none, there ‘s none, O no
there ‘s none,

Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,

Do what you
may do, what, do what you may,

And wisdom is early to despair:

Be beginning;
since, no, nothing can be done

To keep at bay

Age and age’s evils, hoar

Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs
and worms and

tumbling to decay;

So be beginning, be beginning to despair.

there ‘s none; no no no there ‘s none:

Be beginning to despair, to

Despair, despair, despair, despair.

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Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez

St Alphonsus Rodriquez.jpgI stand at the door and knock, says the Lord. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sit down to supper with him, and he with me.

O God, in the faithful service of our brother Alphonsus You have shown us the way to joy and peace. Make us ready and watchful companions of Jesus, who became the servant of all, and now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
On the life of Saint Alphonsus Rodriquez is posted here.
In the 1990’s while reading the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Jesuit, I came across his poem honoring Saint Alphonsus. It reads,
In honour of
St. Alphonsus Rodriquez
laybrother of the Society of Jesus
Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on  the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.
Yet God (that hews mountain and continent, Earth, all, out;
who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alphonso watched the door.

Gerard Manley Hopkins: 120th anniversary of death

Today is the 120th anniversary of death of Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Jesuit poet.



When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,

Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?

When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite

To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but

That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows

Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?


O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu

Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,

That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does

He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,

He comes to brood and sit.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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