On New Year's Eve, we all shared our words for the year. Mine is ROOTED. My daughter immediately went in search of the Hopkins book, and read me this poem.
She is a big Hopkins fan, even using Gerard's photo as her profile picture, and a big reason for that is the way he expresses depression, frustration, futility. In this poem, nothing that he tries is successful. He looks around and it's spring; everything else is blooming. The birds are hard at work at their nests. But he's stuck in a sterile, monastic existence, with nothing to show for it. He doesn't know what to do about it, except pour it out on paper, and then that last line: "Send my roots rain."
I'm hoping, and praying, for rain this year, too.
'Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend'
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen
justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.
Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build – but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.
It's also Epiphany today, so here's a bonus poem, one with more hope: "Where the Map Begins" at Painted Prayerbook.
Linda has the roundup today, this first one of 2017.
3 hours ago