Friday, February 10, 2017

air, pride, plume, here Buckle!

Okay, I've had enough--for a while at least.

Image result for windhover birdI'm buckling
back to
pure words now,  
pure words now.
It was a blustery day here yesterday,
swirls of snow,
but none of the peace of accumulation.
Whenever I go back to Gerard I'm struck,
the way his lines speak the every day
in a glorious plenty beyond the everyday.

The Windhover || Gerard Manley Hopkins  1877

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
    dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
    As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
    Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
   No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

The round-up today is at The Logonauts with Katie.  Swing on, sweep on, glide on over for some gold-vermilion ecstasy.


  1. Heidi I am in love with your words "the peace of accumulation." And Yes GMH is so so good for reminding us to experience wonder and beauty every single moment. xo

  2. What a wonderful description: "swirls of snow, but none of the peace of accumulation." It is the soft splendor, the quiet pristine peace that immediately follows a snowfall that I love and long for each winter. So, as I read The Windhover, I found myself reading, re-reading, opening my dictionary, puzzling over metaphors (servant, royalty, horse, skater), the serious enjambed line (king- dom which I think is more than just to rhyme with "king"), the use of the exclamation points, and more. Thanks for posting "The Windhover"--full of power and beauty.

  3. One of my all-time favorite poems!! So nice to see it here today. Wow. Those words get me every time.

  4. Such wonder and awe! The words are magical.

  5. I do love GMH, especially "daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon" the prince of air. I agree with Alice, I love your words, too. "swirls of snow, but none of the peace of accumulation." A nice break from indignation.

  6. I've had to re-read this, puzzling why he did certain, at least my own speculation, but I used your own words too, that "peace of accumulation" to guide me into some calm just for me. I'm reading late tonight, and it's a pleasure of an evening because of sharing like yours. Thanks, Heidi.

  7. Heidi, your description of these lines, a "glorious plenty," is exactly right. I love the "dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon" and his "wimpling wing." Thank you for sharing this beauty today!

  8. I finally caved in and read a few explanations of the possible meanings in this poem. I love that he left behind something with no clear path of meaning, a puzzle for each reader to untangle in her own time and way. And I love that the SOUNDS in the poem can give just about as much meaning as the words.

    My favorite bit (now that I know what sillion means) is "shéer plód makes plough down sillion / Shine". I am reminded of "The Real Work" by Wendell Berry and "To Be of Use" by Marge Piercy.

  9. "The mastery of the thing" indeed! I fell in love with GMH in college. Always welcome, his poems, and I hadn't read one in a while, so thank you. (And I always find a glorious plenty in your words, too!)


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!