Tag Archives: Gerard Manley Hopkins

May Magnificat

MAY MAGNIFICAT
Gerard Manley Hopkins

MAY is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

Because the Holy Spirit charges the world

PentecostTHE 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.

“God’s Grandeur”
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

hopkins.jpg

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
deep,

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

messengers,
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
hair,

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

tumbling to decay;

So be beginning, be beginning to despair.

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

Be beginning to despair, to
despair,

Despair, despair, despair, despair.


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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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