Written after reading the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, one of my favourite poets…
Melodiously sung to sleep are the stirrings of a
new Spring taking one last bow before retiring.
Dulcet Evensong of a lonely bright beaked blackbird,
dark stark solitary silhouette against a
fading fluffy candy-flossed twilight sky,
by all, his resounding thankful, grateful praises heard.
Gaia returns once more to sunless shadow-lands,
her green-blue mantle gathered tightly about her,
meditating upon her eternal mantra.
Ceremonial golden Aconite cups close to the
chiming bells of St. Mary’s chanting the o’clock as
angel snowdrop wings fold, Amen to the day’s tantra.
In lotus sits Meconopsis napaulensis,
still, unchanging guardian of the Winter garden
mindful wakeful watchman your secret safely hidden.
An equinox Sun, her great miracle performs,
crossing the celestial equator, heralding
the Divine quickening, by all of Nature bidden.
Blesséd, sacred stirrings within man, beast and bough,
Holy Breath’s hallowed Elysian Cantata
performed by Creation’s ethereal choir.
Days lengthen, Sun in sky climbs upwards as a
warming wonder seeps souls, heats hearts, God-gladdens
Winter worship, lifting us to realms ever higher.
Wind-weary rainbow prayer flags propel pleas for a
promise that this year the Nepalese Poppy might share
her long concealed treasure and flower for the first time…
Photographs taken in this year’s early Spring garden…
1.Winter Aconite, ( Eranthis ), sheltering at the base of a Japanese maple, ( Acer palmatum ).
2. Snowdrop, ( Galanthus ),
3. Nepal Poppy,( Meconopsis napaulensis ).
4.Rainbow, Healing Buddhist Prayer flags from Nepal.
We have now had this plant, purchased from Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens for 3 years and we are willing it to flower this year. It has however provided us with a magnificent soft, felty, hairy rosette all year round, even in the cold, harsh depths of Winter.
Reverend Father Gerard Manley Hopkins ( 1844-1889 ), was an English Poet, Roman Catholic convert and a Jesuit Priest, having been brought up a High Church Anglican. Hopkin’s first ambitions were to be a painter and he continued to sketch throughout his life, inspired by John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites. He attended Balliol College, Oxford in 1863-67, where he studied Classics. In 1866, he decided to convert to Catholicism, being received by John Henry Newman in October of that year. After his Graduation, Newman found him a teaching post at the Oratory in Birmingham, where he later decided to become a Jesuit. After reading Duns Scotus he realized that Holy Orders and Poetry did not necessarily conflict.
While training at a Jesuit seminary near St. Asaph, he learnt Welsh and started to read traditional Welsh verse whose rhythms were to influence his own poetry. His most technical innovation was the idea of “sprung rhythm” which counts stresses rather than syllables, propelling the reader forward. To help express the rhythms of his poems, he borrowed symbols from musical notation.
Much of Hopkin’s historical importance has to do with the changes he brought to the form of poetry, which ran contrary to conventional ideas of metre. The language of his poetry is striking, both simple and metaphysically intricate, i.e. As kingfishers catch fire, where he leaps from one image to another to show how each thing expresses its own uniqueness and how divinity expresses itself through all of them. He also coined new words and created compound adjectives such as dapple-dawn-drawn falcon.
Spring or Vernal Equinox 2016 : this year falls on the 20th March.
The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator – from south to north. On the equinox, day and night are nearly exactly the same length-12 hours-all over the world, and the earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays. The March equinox heralds new birth and new beginnings. Many cultures in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox.