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Posts Tagged ‘Gerard Manley Hopkins’


A close friend sent me this early this morning. She knows I always love the month of May. It is the month of Mama Mary.  What a lovely way to start the month reading a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English poet and a Jesuit priest.

According to Poetry Foundation,  “Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the three or four greatest poets of the Victorian era. He is regarded by different readers as the greatest Victorian poet of religion, of nature, or of melancholy. However, because his style was so radically different from that of his contemporaries, his best poems were not accepted for publication during his lifetime, and his achievement was not fully recognized until after World War I”.

The May Magnificat

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why :
       Her feasts follow reason,
       Dated due to season—
Candlemas, Lady Day ;
But the Lady Month, May,
       Why fasten that upon her,
       With a feasting in her honour ?
Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her ?
       Is it opportunist
       And flowers finds soonest ?
Ask of her, the mighty mother :
Her reply puts this other
       Question : What is Spring?—
       Growth in every thing—
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together ;
       Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
       Throstle above her nested
Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within ;
       And bird and blossom swell
       In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
       With that world of good
       Nature’s motherhood.
Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
       How she did in her stored
       Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this :
Spring’s universal bliss
       Much, had much to say
       To offering Mary May.
When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
       And thicket and thorp are merry
       With silver-surfèd cherry
And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
       And magic cuckoocall
       Caps, clears, and clinches all—
This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
       To remember and exultation
       In God who was her salvation.

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