Wednesday, April 30, 2008


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 rise and wring
The ear, it strides 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 limbs, 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***
Innocent mind and Mayday**** in girl and boy,
Most, O Maid's Child*****,

Thy choice and worth the winning.
---Gerard Manley Hopkins, may 1877

*Eggs the color of the sky & reminders of it
**Thrush: the songbird, not the yeast-related infection (ha, ha!!)
***Cloy: to satiate, us. w/something pleasing. Basically, hurry to enjoy this fleeting reminder of Eden before it is spoiled, as the first Eden was by sin
****Mayday: May 1st. Celebrated in Europe with flowers & folk dances. (Happy Mayday! Also, Blessed Ascension. This year, the day commemorating Jesus's bodily Ascension through the clouds, after which we could no longer see Him physically, is also May 1st.)
*****Maid's Child: The Virgin's Son, Jesus. (Roman Catholics devote all of May to Mary.) This suggests that Jesus would choose the "innocent" boys & girls more than anyone else. Actually, no one's innocent & God loves all us rotten sinners just the same.


Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Nice site....
Are you aware of the nature poetry of the monk, Thomas Merton?
Beautiful stuff!
Tom Degan

C. Marie Byars said...

Thanks for the compliment! I've read a bit of Merton. But, I must confess, at this phase of my life, I get sort of stuck in "liking what I like" & don't have time to cultivate other interests. So I am not well-versed (bad poetry pun!) in Merton