August 2, Gerard Manley Hopkins

My poetry group met tonight and finished up a discussion on Yeats that we started at the last meeting. We also decided who would make presentations at the next few meetings. I got August 2nd.

"What poet would you like to focus on, Waterfall?"

Hmm. I've been thinking about Gerard Manley Hopkins or George Herbert. (We've been focusing a lot on living poets, but have recently gone back to some of our favorite dead ones.) I decided on Hopkins. I love what poetry I've read by him, but must admit that I don't know a lot about him. And the Hopkins poems I've read are mostly the Hopkins poems that most college graduates have read in their Intro to English Literature courses.

So, I've decided (since I've been going through a blogging dry spell) that I'm going to post my Hopkins "research" onto this blog. It won't be anything too deep or complicated--just a few biographical facts, some notes on his poetic style, and of course, the texts of some of his poems.

Lets start with a bit of poetry, shall we?

This one is titled "The Woodlark." It's not one I'm familiar with. It is, however, very enjoyable to read aloud. Try it!



Teevo cheevo cheevio chee:
O where, what can tháat be?
Weedio-weedio: there again!
So tiny a trickle of sóng-strain;
And all round not to be found
For brier, bough, furrow, or gréen ground
Before or behind or far or at hand
Either left either right
Anywhere in the súnlight.
Well, after all! Ah but hark—
‘I am the little wóodlark.
. . . . . . . .
To-day the sky is two and two
With white strokes and strains of the blue
. . . . . . . .
Round a ring, around a ring
And while I sail (must listen) I sing
. . . . . . . .
The skylark is my cousin and he
Is known to men more than me
. . . . . . . .
…when the cry within
Says Go on then I go on
Till the longing is less and the good gone

But down drop, if it says Stop,
To the all-a-leaf of the tréetop
And after that off the bough
. . . . . . . .
I ám so véry, O soó very glad
That I dó thínk there is not to be had…
. . . . . . . .
The blue wheat-acre is underneath
And the braided ear breaks out of the sheath,
The ear in milk, lush the sash,
And crush-silk poppies aflash,
The blood-gush blade-gash
Flame-rash rudred
Bud shelling or broad-shed
Tatter-tassel-tangled and dingle-a-dangled
Dandy-hung dainty head.
. . . . . . . .
And down … the furrow dry
Sunspurge and oxeye
And laced-leaved lovely
Foam-tuft fumitory
. . . . . . . .
Through the velvety wind V-winged
To the nest’s nook I balance and buoy
With a sweet joy of a sweet joy,
Sweet, of a sweet, of a sweet joy
Of a sweet—a sweet—sweet—joy.’


Popular Posts