07 May 2008

All this juice and all this joy

It's time for a spring poem. My favorite is Gerard Manley Hopkins' sonnet "Spring and All." Quite a number of his poems are on the springtime theme, which fits with the fecundity of his language, all of the assonance and alliteration and swinging (he called it "sprung") rhythm.

The line, "When weeds in wheels shoot long and lovely and lush" is one that I whisper to myself when everything is green and bursting around me. I'm not a big memorizer, but somehow Hopkins' poems are ones whose words stick with me, and chime out when I least expect them to.


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 rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes 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 lambs 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,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

1 comment:

Rocas said...

And the earth shall spread it's glory, in the crowning of the spring.