A Poem of Praise

JuJoJan 14 January 2022.

The word for today is “freckled.” I thought of writing about my family, most of whom are freckled, but instead, a poem came to mind from my school days.

Pied Beauty 

BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS

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;
      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:
                                Praise him.

Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)

Gerard Manly Hopkins (1844 -1889) suffered from a depressive disorder which today might be labelled bipolar disorder or chronic unipolar depression. Yet he was able to write such a positive poem of praise to God. He could see the beauty in creation from a unique angle.

I thought about this today as we walked home from the caravan place where our motor-home was being sealed. God is a God of variety. He does not make identical or standard anything. We are all unique and He deals with each of us in a unique way. Sometimes the very inclusion of opposites adds depth to His creation.

St Paul understood the essence of this. He wrote,”

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NIV)

… and “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10b NIV)

When I got home, I noticed my petunias. Magnificent in their stripiness!

My Prayer

Father, I notice contradictions in myself. Please give me the grace to accept myself, contradictions and all, the way You accept me. Amen.

3 thoughts on “A Poem of Praise

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