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Sunday Sonnet

The good editors at Social Matter note that Hopkins is underrated and prolific. But not all are sonnets, and not all appeal to my ears. This does.

To R. B.

Tbe fine delight that fathers thought; the strong
Spur, live and lancing like the blowpipe flame,
Breathes once and, quenchèd faster than it came,
Leaves yet the mind a mother of immortal song.
Nine months she then, nay years, nine years she long
Within her wears, bears, cares and moulds the same:
The widow of an insight lost she lives, with aim
Now known and hand at work now never wrong.
Sweet fire the sire of muse, my soul needs this;
I want the one rapture of an inspiration.
O then if in my lagging lines you miss
The roll, the rise, the carol, the creation,
My winter world, that scarcely breathes that bliss
Now, yields you, with some sighs, our explanation.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Like most Victorians, Hopkins was aware of death and human frailty. It is throughout his poems, Felix Randall implies he had given extreme unction. And like most Victorians, he honoured mothers, rejoiced in life, and had a deep faith.

From that height we have deeply fallen.

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