God’s Grandeur–Gerard Manley Hopkins


Psalm 51--Patrick Murphy

Painting by Patrick Murphy

God’s Grandeur

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 smeared 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.

Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Also check out Mortal’s industrial rock treatment of this poem–“Bright Wings

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Mallory says:

    I LOVE Gerard Manley Hopkins! And I really love this particular poem, too. Thanks for posting it!

    1. mrteague says:

      Absolutely, one of my favorites as well! I love the shadow of death when he talks about the sun setting, followed by the hope of resurrection when “morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs.” Despite all the generations of sin & “man’s smudge,” the Sun of Righteousness rose & imparts new life to the world through the Holy Ghost. Great stuff!

  2. Tim Shey says:

    T.S. Eliot and Gerard Manley Hopkins are my two favorite poets. Here is an excerpt from Hopkins’ “The Wreck of the Deutschland”:


    1. mrteague says:

      I’ve read a lot more Hopkins than Eliot. I’d like to read more….

    1. mrteague says:

      I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner. It went to my spam folder!

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