27 October 2006

My Favorite Poem

I came across this poem reading a book last year. The book was Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson. The title was identified as a phrase from the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins written in the 1800's. I liked it enough that I was curious about how it had been used in the poem. Since looking it up, this has stuck with me. I love what it has to say about the nature of who we are and what our lives are about when lived in the reality of what God created us to be--the reality of Christ. So, here's my deep dark secret: I actually have a favorite Victorian poem. How's it hit you?

As Kingfishers Catch Fire
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

As king fishers 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.

1 comment:

SMallard said...

No more mocking my husband for his culinary talents-a Victorian poem! Reminds me of this Sara Groves song (also reminded me of the new Newsboys song "Something Beautiful", but the words didn't seem as great without the jammin' music):

Add to the Beauty
We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth


This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
This is grace, an invitation