Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring comes late and slow to the Berkshires

We had a tough winter here in the Berkshire Hills, tons of snow and only now in May are we enjoying a brief and somewhat damp and cool Spring.  Nonetheless, it is beautiful.  I heard this poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins on the Writer's Almanac today.  It is one of my (many) favorites of his:


Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –      
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;      
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush      
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring      
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush      
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush      
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.      

What is all this juice and all this joy?      
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,      
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,      
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,      
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

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

(Backyard photos by R. L. Floyd)

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