Jul 20, 2022 • 1M

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Poem (Audio)

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The poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) believed that every creature showed forth, in its unique and characteristic way, the beauty and the glory of the Creator. Each thing had what he called its “inscape.” Imagine that you dwell upon the peculiar character of a spread of wild geraniums in an open field. You try to open your mind and soul to what they are, and how they are, to their color, their shading, their tight net of roots, their five-petaled flowers, and their small starry fronds. It is as if you might enter another world within the world, and vistas of beauty begin to reveal themselves, to be received in quiet wonder, as you say, “It is good that such a thing exists.”

Now, if that is true of kinds of things, like wild geraniums, or our American cardinals that cry out, “What cheer, cheer, cheer,” as they stake out their territory in the spring, what about man? What about the individual human being? For man is more — each human being is infinitely more. What we see …

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