Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poem for Today

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.

This poem by was set to music by Ned Rorem in 1990.
It brings back fond memories of my daughter singing
this piece in a vocal competition ten years ago, when
she was in high school.

Click [here] to listen to the song on Rhapsody. I'm not
sure who is singing on this particular sound track.

***The Spring, painting by Carl Larsson, 1907


  1. What a very beautiful poem. At last Spring is surging forth here and the first bulb shoots are doing their thing. About time. My friends back in England are well past lambing and daffodils. It's reassuring to see the seasons come and go, realizing that change is the one thing we can rely on. :)

  2. Ah...Gerald Manley Hopkins...beautiful poem..there is nothing like spring...I think it must be like the Eden...

    love the picture as well..

  3. Beautiful poem and picture! I enjoyed that! :)

  4. I enjoy each one of the seasonal changes and always look forward to the next. :)

    I did some potting out on the patio today and that spring sunshine felt glorious!

  5. My mother, a very erudite woman, introduced me to the joy of literature - and that poem was one of many that she read to me when I was little.

  6. David, I love this poem. Your comment made my day. Thank you! And I'm happy you stopped by Willow Manor!

  7. Willow, opening your blog today was like opening a dark curtain on a brilliantly sunny day. What an absolutely lovely, bright, beautiful piece of art greeted my eyes!

    Then, the poem, embodying everything that is in my heart and mind about spring.

    Tis a magical season...unlike any other....thank you so much for introducing me to this poem and this poet.

    So, I see by one of your comments here that you spent some time outside on the patio, and I am very much looking forward to seeing any photos of the fruits of your labour. What kind of plants did you pot today, and didn't it feel so good to sink your fingers into God's good earth?

  8. Yes, I love the smell and feel of fresh, wet, spring mud! And some of it is still under my nails, I'm afraid. I will have to post soon on my efforts.

  9.'s so nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by my blog and joining my "give away"!

    I've been reading through your recent blogs and have enjoyed such interesting subjects...I'll be back!


  10. Thank you, Willow, for the welcome - and for leaving a comment saying you want to add me to your blogroll.

    Permission? Ma'am, I'd be honoured to grant you permission ....

    Thank you for asking!!

  11. Gerard Manley Hopkins is great. He has a host of other poems like this too (colourful / vivid / not too obscure).

  12. Isn't GMH an amazing poet! Such an appreciation for and love of God's creation...beautiful.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)