Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pied Beauty

On a run yesterday, a poem popped into my head. I wrote an explication of "Pied Beauty" for my capstone class for English Literature. Enjoy:

"Pied Beauty"
Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.

       by: Gerald Manley Hopkins

I love this poem. Listen to a recording at the Poetry Foundation website.

"Pied Beauty" popped into my head because of all the variance of color and diversity of life I saw as I ran along the Minnesota River.

I've been into reading and listening to poetry a lot more the past couple years, and after teaching poetry to middle and high school students for the last four years, I'm getting more confidence in sharing some poems I've written. I decided to try writing a poem similar to "Pied Beauty" in that I used a similar theme and the same meter and rhyme pattern.

"River Trail Run"

Concrete and steel arching overhead 
   below bronze and olive stained, dark flowing water
onto hard-packed paths by puddles punctuated,
           whose surfaces reflect crimson red.
All fauna and flora each Creator's daughter
    seemed by day and season elated. 

Riveted rust-stained beams, repaired, replaced,  
  joined the sound of men's work and of their laughter.
Watching workers, I hesitated 
    desiring more time, I have now raced

Obviously I'm far less talented of a poet than the late Mr. Hopkins. Still, imitation is the highest form of flattery, so I'm hoping Mr. Hopkins isn't rolling in his grave or planning on haunting me until I take this poem off my blog.

 Run well.

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