May 10, 2014

Poem: God's Grandeur

The World is Charged with the Grandeur of God

God's Grandeur is a sonnet by Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844–1889). A convert, in 1866 he was received into the Catholic Church by Cardinal John Henry Newman and eventually became a Jesuit priest. God's Grandeur was first published in the posthumous collection: Poems (1918). It is probably his most well known poem and is included in the Poetry Appendix of the Liturgy of the Hours (1975).

Reading and commentary by Stanley Kunitz, Reading begins at 2:00 min.

GOD'S GRANDEUR by Gerard Manley Hopkins (Public Domain)

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.

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