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.
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