27 December 2016

The Windhover

Walking with the birds....

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

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.

Gerard Manley Hopkins
Written May 1877
Published 1918

And then the Stonechat says:

What about me?  I'm beautiful too!

And the Yellowhammer in the thicket trills:

I would like a little bit of bread and no cheese.....

And the Robin on the barbed wire asks:

Who did kill Cock Robin?

And the Mute Swan, with her cygnets, says....


Even in the quiet woods and fields around our home there are sights to amaze, and the fleeting world of birds, so quick, so fluid, so dynamic, puts our self-consciousness into perspective.

Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus

An example of the use of poetry to convey an indecision, and its reverberation in the mind.....

William Empson

Seven Types of Ambiguity

All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heard the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin.

English Nursery Rhyme


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