Wednesday, February 20, 2008

'Spring', by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To coincide with our emergence from winter up here on the edge of the Dublin mountains, our 22nd Poem of the Week is Gerard Manley Hopkins's joyous celebratory sonnet 'Spring' :-

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring —
When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. — Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Hopkins is on the Leaving Certificate Higher Level rota (not at the moment, though). He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin (see an earlier post here). The annual Hopkins Summer School is on this year from July 19th to 25th in Monasterevin. Full details of the programme here.

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