God’s Grandeur

A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, written in 1918:

God’s Grandeur

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.

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4 Responses to God’s Grandeur

  1. One of my favorite poems by Hopkins. It seems very appropriate to our times.
    Thanks for posting it.
    -VA

  2. stephenhopewell says:

    VA – really? I’m glad you like this poem. I was actually thinking that Hopkins is quite difficult, and read this poem, and was pleased to realize I more or less understood what he was saying.

    I appreciate the poetic selections that appear on your blog, too. I think poetry is essential to the patriotic and civilizational project. I was exposed to just a smattering of poetry by my parents, and am trying to learn as much as I can of what I missed out on.

  3. Stephen – Hopkins can be a little daunting but he is not really hard to follow once you get used to his unusual style.

    Sometimes our early exposure to poetry does not really ‘take’; I only came to my present appreciation for poetry as an adult. I had my favorites as a child but some of them I just didn’t get until I was older and had some understanding of the ideas and even the mechanics of how poetry works.

    I agree that poetry is an important piece of our culture and heritage; I suppose not everyone likes it, or likes the selections I use on my blog, but I am glad to know that you, and some others who read my blog, appreciate it.
    -VA

    • stephenhopewell says:

      VA – thanks. I will try to read more Hopkins. I don’t think everyone in a society can or should read poetry or literature; but I think it needs to be there in the heart of the culture somewhere, to reach various types of people at different levels. You obviously have quite a bit of expertise on English poetry, and I hope you’ll continue to work that into your blog from time to time.

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