Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter.

12. The Windhover

To Christ our Lord

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, 5
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion 10
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Gerard Manley Hopkins


  1. This is my favorite poem in the whole wide world. I sometimes have it memorized. And I come to your blog enough that I should be able to do so again.

  2. Yes, awe and wonder. The music of it. Dazzle con brio. A perfect Easter greeting. I hope yours was wonderful.

  3. One of my favorite, favorite poem. Thank you, Lisa.

  4. Gerard!

    I will admit that "dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon" will suddenly pass my lips at the odd moment. Hopkins had a great sense of the sounds that poetry can elicit.

  5. I love the way his estopped, clotted-then-quickening-yet-singing syntax plus all that sound equals his kind of worship, praise, and (of course) agony. He and Frost were my first loves of poetry.

  6. Hopkins, Frost, and Heaney are three of my faves.

    Frost was my first love. I came to Hopkins and Heaney later.

    Good post.

  7. You wouldn't necessarily know this, but way back in the day, Anna Tueller and I used to memorize this and other poems on long drives in the car. This was one of my very favorites, always. Hopkins made love to words. Gash gold vermillion.



Related Posts with Thumbnails