29 July 2016

poetry friday: my own heart.

My profile picture here, as you may or may not know, is a photograph of the surprisingly-handsome Gerard Manley Hopkins. He is absolutely my favorite poet, no competition, and yesterday (28 July) was his 172 birthday. I tried to write a post for the occasion about what he means to me. It turned into a bit of an essay, and I've decided to save it and post it when I've thought about it more and managed to polish it up.

In lieu of my pontifications, I'm sharing my very favorite Hopkins poem, "My Own Heart." It's one of his most hopeful poems—an exhausted hope, but one that has gotten me through some very tough times. "Leave comfort root-room": it's a reminder, and a challenge, that I often need.

Happy birthday, Fr. Gerard, and thanks.

My own heart let me have more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst’s all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
’s not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies
Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.

Here's the roundup.


  1. I love that poem! And Hopkins is wonderful.

  2. Love this one, especially the bit of a line you noted, and love GM Hopkins, too. I hope you'll share the essay (or a link to it) in a PF post!

    1. I definitely will, though it might take a while. :)

  3. Lovely. I especially like the line: 'let
    Me live to my sad self hereafter kind'
    We all need to be a bit kinder to ourselves, I think.

  4. Thank you for the introduction to Hopkins and his poetry. I will be on the lookout for more of his work. =)