The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I Liked:

    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each ticked string tells, each hung bell's
    Bow swung fin ds toungue 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.
                          - G. M. Hopkins
                            AS KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE
Gerard Hopkins' frequently musical idiom (i.e., his singing stones and telling strings) evokes images of a divine orchestra, in which each man plays his own part within a celestial melody, resting among, not above, the rocks of the forest and the waves of the sea. As Hopkins has so painstakingly intoned, every man must be a song unto his self. No man can be what he is not, nor should he aspire to be more than God has made him; such presumtious attempts are often doomed from the start, and smack of hubris besides. Which is not to say that man has no say in his growth as God's creature: while God has cast the rough-hewn mold of our lives, it is up to the individual to define and demonstrate the dignity, compassion, and honor which is within every man's abiilty. Only by cleansing our every course and striving to live up to the living model God has shown us can we show that we, as children of God, exhibit grace under pressure.

I Disliked:

    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
        It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
        It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed.  Why do men then not reck his rod?
    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
        with toil;
        And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell:
        the soil
    Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
    And for all this, nature is never spent;
          There live the dearest freshness deep down
    And through the last lights off the black West went
        Oh, morning, at the brown bring eastward,
    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent 
        World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright
                                      - G. M. Hopkins
                                        "God's Grandeur"
Once again, Mr. Hopkins has done an excellent job of serenadng the reader with his religious conundrums. However, I must now take exception to his message of ecological spirtuality. God has lit within mankind a fire, a flame that burns hotter han any neutron star. That flame will force man kind out in to the Universe, to spread and multiply until all of God's Cosmos lies within our graspl. Hopefully, with that exodus will come a new awakenin of man's creative impulse, as he fights to first imitate, then surpass all the marvels God has shown us. Regardless of one's conception of man's future, however, it is obvious tat humanity has been born and bred to tinker with and expand on our environment. While much destruction has been wrecked in our first, halting mistakes, this is an unavoidable consequence of our unquenchaable desire to grow as a race and as individuals. Were man's penchant for environmental havoc not in God's original plan, he should have stopped with the sedate-but-safe bunny rabbits.

I was Totally Baffled By:

    And God saw everything that he had made,
        and behold it was very good.
                            - God
                              Genesis 1:31