Poetry Friday: Adazzle, Dim

February 11, 2011 @ 5:57 pm | Filed under:

Well, here it is Friday already, and I didn’t get that twenty-five miles of caged birds poem of mine typed up yet. Another Friday, then.

This morning the girls and I tried to read a bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins—a special favorite of mine; he won the heart of this freckled girl with “Pied Beauty” long ago—but we had already had a rather long read-aloud session which had exhausted the patience of my toddler, whose wooden animals began mysteriously to leap out of his fists and hurl themselves across the room.

Hopkins never had to contend with flying zebras.

He’d have seen the beauty in them, though, if he had.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.

This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by the wonderful Carol Rasco from RIF.

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9 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Summer says:

    That’s so funny that you should post Pied Beauty this Friday…we just read this in English class this week!! I agree, it’s fantastic. I’m now constantly on the lookout for dappled things…

  2. Melissa Wiley says:

    Summer! What a delight to have a comment from you! And what felicitous timing. Hopkins would approve. 🙂

    With your incredible eye I can just imagine the gorgeously dappled photos you could take…

  3. MelanieB says:

    Sigh. I never get tired of Hopkins. Especially Pied Beauty.

    Our poetry read aloud today was A.A. Milne.

  4. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater says:

    What a smile of a post. Lucky zebras, and wise you for seeing the beauty in their flight!

  5. tanita says:

    It’s still a big goal of mine to eventually learn this one by heart – but it’s such a tongue-twister that I start stuttering by the “fresh fire coal, chestnut falls, finches’ wings” bit. It really is my favorite GMH poem, though.

  6. Ann Youngblood says:

    I have a cousin Dr. Paul Mariani who has researched and written a book about Hopkins several years ago and has given workshops. Paul is or was a fellow at Boston College after he taught for years (English esp poetry) Don’t know if what Paul wrote about Hopkins would interest you.

  7. Melissa Wiley says:

    Ann, that sounds very interesting indeed! I will have to look for his book!

  8. Love2learn Mom says:

    Oh how lovely! I just finished reading a novel about Gerard Manley Hopkins that was quite lovely (though rather on the somber side). Exiles by Ron Hansen

  9. Jenn @Home is Where You Start From says:

    lovely poem, I’m so glad you shared it! My dd15 has a hen named Dapples. She will love this poem!