22 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, My Cupcakes!

While you bother yourself with work or turkey prep, I am nearing completion of what amounts to perhaps my coolest paper ever. Gerard Manley Hopkins. Read him... I'm telling you, you will never read more beautiful poetry. Ever. Ok, maybe, but this is pretty great. Plus, it will make you more well-rounded as a person, and I'm not speaking in the sense of an over-indulgent Thanksgiving.

Here's a short one for you to start with.

‘The child is father to the man.’
How can he be? The words are wild.
Suck any sense from that who can:
‘The child is father to the man.’
No; what the poet did write ran,
‘The man is father to the child.’
‘The child is father to the man!’
How can he be? The words are wild.

Notice the rhythm (sprung rhythm to be exact), building on the new modern style of poets such as Robert Frost?

He would declare and could himself believe
That the birds there in all the garden round
From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
Had added to their own an oversound,
Her tone of meaning but without the words.
Admittedly an eloquence so soft
Could only have had an influence on birds
When call or laughter carried it aloft.
Be that as may be, she was in their song.
Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
Had now persisted in the woods so long
That probably it never would be lost.
Never again would birds' song be the same.
And to do that to birds was why she came.

No, Frost came later! He was writing 30 years after Hopkin's death! Holy crap!


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