Friday, December 9, 2011

Christ at Play

I believe it is essential to expose our children to as much poetry as possible.  The beauty of poetry is soul-forming.  Great poems carry us beyond our normal patterns and help us to engage the transcendent.  Children are able to absorb poems at an astounding rate, as if they possess intuitive fluency within poetic language.  As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a splendid poem for Advent.  

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

           Gerard Manley Hopkins
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

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