Pied Beauty

water reflection on wall

In spite of being completely irreligious and not fond of any of the patriarchal monotheisms with fathery deities, I still love this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins from 1877. We studied it in high school and for some reason I never forgot it. I almost never see anything stippled or freckled or spotted or striped without thinking of it. I would rather not have freckles myself but I always think of these lines when I have a flash of annoyance about them:
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

I’m pretty Hopkins wrote this in the fall,  and not just because of its reference to fallen chestnuts.

For those who don’t know him, Hopkins wrote in a poetic rhythm he devised (or at least named) that mimics the natural patterns of English speech. He called it sprung rhythm and the diacritical marks direct you to how words or syllables should be emphasized or not (acute accents (foreward slanting) mean you draw the syllable out, grave accents (back slant) mean you say them quickly).


Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;         5
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:         10
                  Praise him.

full moon reflected, ecuador

sunset Vancouver July 2 2002 mountains

chimera cat

toadstools, vancouver

vancouver red sunset 3 boats - freighters

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