05 March 2013

Dark Sky, Hamilton, Montana

'I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day'

By Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844–1889

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.
Every new-to-me read of any Gerard Manley Hopkins poetry underscores why my eldest niece so loves his writing. Thanks, A., for the introduction.

1 comment:

  1. The first lines especially remind me of the strange, disturbed feeling that occurs at times when you wake in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep....


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