Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Welcome to my new followers (Thanks again, Alyosha)! If you haven't yet entered April's blog drawing, you have two more days to win free books. Go here for contest rules and to see the books I'm giving away.

Today is National Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day, which means you carry around your favorite poem all day and inflict it upon everyone you meet. Which is what I intend to do here.

I had a hard time choosing. Something modern and obscure? Something famous that everyone was forced to read and hated in school? Something funny and accessible? I don't have a single favorite.

I chose this, just because I love it so much. And because it was Earth Day last week. And because it's Spring. And because Hopkins really is my favorite poet. I love the sounds. I love the images. It knocks me off my feet.

God's Grandeur
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
   It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
   It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
   And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
   And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And, for all this, nature is never spent;
   There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
   Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Hold Ghost over the bent
   World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

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