All entries for Saturday 17 March 2007

March 17, 2007

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins

This is a lovely example of what happens when a poet uses cynghanedd in English.

‘As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame’

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Christ—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.


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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)


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