Gerard Manley Hopkins

(28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889 / Stratford, Essex)

As Kingfishers Catch Fire - Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves -- goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is --
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.


Comments about As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins

  • Rookie Ed Wever (2/20/2005 6:49:00 PM)

    Not for this particular poem, but for all of G.M.'s work: I taught English at the high school and college levels for 33 years, and I am still 'blown away' by most of his stuff. He is magnificent. Only one poet comes close: Wallace Stevens. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: father, fire, god



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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