Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Greatest Poem EVAR Written

I'm playing with the spelling of EVAR here-- it's ever, but a fan of a certain rock band wrote it this way and I thought it was great.

This is another poem that I fell in love with while reading Pinsky's book on America's Favorite Poems-- it's called The Windhover by Gerard Manly Hopkins. I read this many times and the more I read it, the better it sounded. At first it was just long to me, but I loved the words. The person who submitted this said that Hopkins was "drunk on words" and described himself as a New York Jew who somehow related to this Jesuit priest who was writing for Christ. I thought that was pretty cool-- you can relate to the grandness of it all, no matter what your faith, I think.

He's talking about a kestrel in flight and the colours in it's plumage.

I enjoy falconry, but I doubt I will ever be committed to be able to be sure I am able to care for a hawk or a falcon-- they become your master just as you become theirs. Still, I appreciate them-- as did Mr. Hopkins!

The Windhover
To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,--the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.


Minion means "subject" as in the king's subject.
Sillion means breaking of the soil.


I enjoy reading poetry like this to the kids. It puts the toddlers to sleep and the
older ones under the age of 18 don't like it but I read to them anyway. Sometimes
I volunteer at an animal rescue place that takes care of bigger animals and I sit at the
edge of the pasture and read to them just to get them used to people.

No comments: