Poem for Autumn’s Graces

Poem for Autumn’s Graces

I fell in under the spell of this poem at unlikely time–as a freshman in college.  I didn’t understand poetry at the time nor did I grasp its relevance to my life, but when Professor George read Pied Beauty, I felt it, in my bones.  I could appreciate the idea of “dappled things” like on this first day of a New England fall.

Kelly Salasin

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Poems.  1918.

13. Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; 5
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 10
Praise him.

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