Glory be to God for dappled things & Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins

An audio meditation on the life of the Jesuit poet Fr Gerard Manley Hokpins SJ, created by the Jesuits in Britain, as part of their calendar commemorating the anniversary of the restoration of the Society.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) was an English poet and convert from Anglicanism. He developed a love of the arts as a young boy, and continued to write and paint all of his life.

When he chose to become a Catholic and then enter the Jesuits, he destroyed most of his early poetic works, and for his early years as a Jesuit he stopped writing.

Following encouragement from one of his Superiors, Hopkins began to write once more and he developed a poetic technique which he described as ‘sprung rhythm’ which he used to particularly good effect to describe nature. His use of language was innovative, employing ancient as well as dialect words, and even inventing new words.

He ministered quietly in various schools and parishes in Britain before being sent as Professor of Greek and Hebrew at the newly-established Catholic University in Dublin.

Few of Hopkins contemporaries appreciated his poetic gifts and it was only after his death when his friend, Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate, published a volume of Hopkins work that his genius began to be recognised. He has a plaque in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Glory be to God for dappled things —

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 áll trádes, 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.

- jesuit.org.uk

To listen to the full Reflection: CLICK HERE.

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