God’s grandeur

I’ve gone on prayers walks; I’ve gone on semiotic walks; I’ve gone on nature walks but until this morning I had never even heard of poetry walks. Paul Steinke guided a number of us into one of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ many glorious pieces. After laboring in vain to get us to memorize the poem he took us on the road, blessing the early morning silence of our learning community’s spaces with verse.

I encourage you to read this modern psalm out loud at least three or four times. Let the sounds resonate through your being and feel it. Let the images dance in the eye or your heart and see it, and let the words have their way with you . . . surrender to it.


God’s Grandeur

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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.


peace, dwight

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  1. I think I like Mary had a little lamb better. But if this works for you, well shod your rod