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Entire interview on Lou Dobbs this evening.
What the protesters are saying and what he observed.
They are varied in topic, mood and complexity, spanning the centuries and my exposure to poets and poetry at various times in my life, and with various people. We read poetry aloud in my home when I was a child, and later when my daughter was a child. I recall reading and studying poets in high school and college. Most poems remind me of one of these times in my life. The sound and composition of poetry is as important to me as the meaning – sometimes more important. Read them out loud to yourself or a friend.
First of all, I have two favorite poems by a favorite poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins was a Catholic, a Jesuit priest, and many of his poems are devotional. That is certainly true of these two poems. Regardless, their beauty of language and form are stunning.
The Windhover is another name for the Kestrel, a type of falcon. This poem is praised as both a great nature poem (about the ‘mastery’ of the bird of prey in flight, as it ‘hovers’ on, and rides, the wind) and a great religious poem (the last six lines, along with the poem’s dedication, liken the majesty of the bird to the masterful power of Christ). Hopkins himself called this “the best thing I ever wrote.”
To Christ Our Lord
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.