Feb. 5th, 2009 07:36 pm
rosiespark: (Default)
[personal profile] rosiespark
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] fajrdrako: When you see this, post your favorite poem in your journal.


The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Gerard Manly Hopkins

I'm not religious, so this might seem like an odd choice, but I love the imagery, and language is glorious. It needs to be recited out loud for the full effect to be felt. And the glory of Creation, the damage humankind has done to it and the way we have cut ourselves off from nature, as well as the sense of hope and renewal at the end, are all things that resonate profoundly.

I used to recite this to myself when I was having trouble sleeping last year, at the time when it looked like keeping my job was going to be impossible. Lying in bed and letting the rhythm of the words wash over me was very soothing - and I found that it required just enough concentration to drag my thoughts off their well-worn tracks of helpless worrying and let my brain wind down enough to sleep.

A note on how I came across this poem: I was actually looking for Hopkins' The Windhover, post-Victoria's Secret, the Due South episode in which it's referenced. But I found I liked this one better.
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