Poem of the Week: Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins

12 April 2013


It's been far too long since I've last posted a weekly poem, and today I am here to remedy that misfortune! I recently encountered this beautiful piece of poetry and thought it was too appropriate not to share. In March my tutorial's literature class conducted an extensive study of the works of the world's most acclaimed poets, but none of the pieces better fit this most lovely of seasons than the one I'm including below. Hopkins likens the new world at spring's birth to the purity of Eden before the Fall of man. While the season of spring does not wash the world of its sin, it does present us with a glimpse of Eden's radiance and the beauty of Paradise to come. Do enjoy!

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

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.

What pieces of poetry have you encountered of late? Feel free to share them in the link-up below!

2 epistles:

  1. Such a beautiful poem, though I have not read it before. I shall try and save the words of this poem in my notebook of inspiration where I store all my favourite quotes! We have autumn here - and it is quite wet right now :p. Enjoy the beauty of spring!

    P.S. here is my link, above but it is to a Puritan prayer that reflects the Easter spirit of spring (or in my case autumn) and not technically poetry. However, it is very beautiful.

  2. Ah, I so enjoy Gerard Manley Hopkins's amazing word-art! I hadn't heard this one before; it's so beautiful -- thanks for sharing! Spring is my favorite season and the words of this poem even sounds like spring. : )


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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