Poetry – The Beauty Of Language

This was the first post I published for Stella’s Place, on November 13, 2015. Happy Birthday to us!

Enjoy! 

What is the purpose of poetry?  Why do we write in verse, when we could say directly what we have to say much more easily?

What has been said about the subject?  I found the following quotes:

When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses, for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment. The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. The great artist is thus a solitary figure. He has, as Frost said, “a lover’s quarrel with the world.” In pursuing his perceptions of reality he must often sail against the currents of his time …  John F Kennedy

tumblr_mroxs3Z6oI1rluimyo1_250 - Copy

A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep……Salman Rushdie

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar….Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement . . . says heaven and earth in one word . . . speaks of himself and his predicament as though for the first time….Christopher Fry

Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat…Robert Frost

sandburgpoetry - Copy

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things….T.S. Eliot

Poetry is all of those things but, to me, reading a poem is often just the delight in the words themselves, and the way in which they weave in and out, rise high and scoop low, the way they slide off the tongue, whisper and shout!

windhover

I was looking for a poem to showcase today, and when I found this one it literally took my breath away.  A well-loved poem that had been set aside for many years, and rediscovered today.  When I saw it on my computer screen, I took a deep breath, and said, “Oh, Yes!  This one!”

 

The Windhover: 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: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

 Even it’s technical description is wonderful:  “Falling paeonic rhythm, sprung and outriding”.  The Windhover was written by Gerard Manley Hopkins who once described it as “the best thing I ever wrote.”  It is a very fine thing.  I also saw it described as “a poet’s love poem to life.”  Yes, indeed.  Hopkins was a Jesuit priest who died at the age of 44.  He had felt the tension between his religious and literary callings throughout his career.

 

windhover2

 

 

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29 Responses to Poetry – The Beauty Of Language

  1. nyetneetot says:

    Congratulations stella!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wooly Phlox says:

    My first comment here, paraphrased:

    :Looks around:

    Wait…

    Where am I?

    I hope you don’t get huge here, Stella. For the same reasons most residents of my town hope that it never becomes a metropolis.

    I mean, I hope you can make money online, but I hope it isn’t here.

    Some other venture, perhaps. But not here.

    No grid of “one weird trick” ads makes this an oasis, if nothing else.

    Whoever came up with that idea needs to be hanged until dead.

    “You won’t believe what THIS person did in THIS weird circumstance!” coupled with a picture of a house with random circles and arrows drawn on it. If I ever see that here, you’ll be rid of me.

    So much love from me for Stella and everyone on Nyet’s breakfast list, it cannot be counted.

    Stella, if you ever decide to open up posting to co-bloggers, please don’t consider me.

    Lovely and Cetera should be given dibs on actual posts, because they can actually write.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. John Denney says:

    I wrote a song to cheer a little girl named Adele. No, not that Adele. 😉
    Most of it came to me within about 15 minutes. This was some years ago, and I’ve not been inspired like that since. It has some nice imagery, appeals to the senses, and the natural accents on the syllables of the words goes along with the “duhDUH duhDUH duhDUH” rhythm of the 12 bar blues. I sing it in the key of E, accompanied by my guitar, and ideally with at least two female backup singers to do the parentheticals.

    Rather unimaginatively, I call it, “The busy buzzy bee”

    The busy buzzy bee goes flower to flower
    collecting nectar hour after hour,
    takin’ it home to the hi-hi-hive,
    put it in the comb it’ll keep ’em alive
    when the weather turns cold ‘n’
    the leaves turn golden
    there won’t be any more blooms.

    Pollinatin’ makin’ honey, too.
    (Blue blossoms! Purple blossoms!)
    Dandelion, clover, avocado too!
    (Pink blossoms! Yellow blossoms!)
    Bright colors! Sweet Fragrances!
    (Pollinatin’ makin’ honey, too!)

    The busy buzzy bee found an apple tree in bloom
    (White blossoms! White blossoms!)
    He hurried back home to tell the others the good news
    (White blossoms! White blossoms!)
    He danced a little jiggle
    with a wiggle wiggle wiggle
    and they all went to do some more . . .
    that’s right!

    Pollinatin’ makin’ honey, too.
    (White blossoms! White blossoms!)
    Dandelion, clover, now apple too!
    (White blossoms! White blossoms!)
    Bright colors! Sweet fragrances!
    (Pollinatin’ makin’ honey, too!)

    The busy buzzy bee goes flower to flower
    collecting nectar hour after hour,
    takin’ it home to the hi-hi-hive,
    put it in the comb it’ll keep ’em alive
    when the weather turns cold ‘n’
    the leaves turn golden
    there won’t be any more blooms.

    There won’t be any more blooms.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. lovely says:

    Happy first birthday to Stellar and her Stellars.

    Thank you Stella for your gracious welcome here 🙂 Your blog is beautifully done.

    As always I love the poetry.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. John Denney says:

    Duh. Sometimes the obvious eludes me. I was so focused on the poetry that I missed the birthday.
    Happy Birthday to one of my favorite places on the ‘net!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. litenmaus says:

    Happy Anniversary Stella …..Woot woot!…..:0)

    Liked by 4 people

  7. czarowniczy says:

    A year already????? How time flies.
    one of my favorite piece, I posted this next door once. It’s here first in print and then read. We actually read this in school in out junior high lit classes before it was PC’d into near extinction. “There once was a young girl from Natchez…” ahhhhh….poetry.

    http://www.bartleby.com/265/193.html

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Col.(R) Ken says:

    Happy Anniversary Stella!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. tessa50 says:

    Congratulations Stella. You have a wonderful blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jeans2nd says:

    Your poetry is beautiful Stella, thank you.

    Since morse or hexadecimal would take too much space, I will say Bon Anniversaire et beaucoup plus, merci.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. texan59 says:

    I’m not much for makin’ rhymes, but I want to contribute in one way or another. What you do here every day is very much appreciated Miss Stella. Thanks for makin’ some of us refugee’s from the refuge a nice quiet new home. Happy birthday, anniversary, or bat mitzvah. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Wooly Phlox says:

    I’m going out with her on Saturday. Sober. Just to change things up a little.

    Sunday’d be too late.

    Like

  13. Wooly Phlox says:

    She’s an Equine physical therapist. If she can make a Hanoverian move it’s leg THAT way, she can keep me sober. Six more days.

    Like

    • Wooly Phlox says:

      Years ago, my dad took a great photo of a Hanoverian, standing in a field of purple wooly phlox. Last year, I sent my neighbor, who was watching my kitty, the framed picture, while I was at my folks’ place in FL. Then I changed my nic.

      I’m noivous. We have a hot date Saturday night. Prayers, please.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. ImpeachEmAll says:

    Okay, been a day.

    Picked up a cake mix and candle for the Day.
    Finally arrived home, only to fall asleep. Hey,
    getting old has it downfalls. Teenagers can
    hardly wait to be of drinking age, only to do
    something stupid; whilst staying awake to
    bake a cake requires more effort. Less by
    far, than not having a drink; a lesser man
    I be. Purchased some rum to make a rum
    cake; but now it’s later, much later. In sum,
    can only present a cake mix and candle. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

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