Selected by Alison Walters
With the new found spring weather and daffodils bursting forth, we can enjoy Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘Spring’:
NOTHING is so beautiful as spring —
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. — Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
The start of the poem evokes a spirit of optimism that Spring brings. Everything in nature now blooms forth after a cold, hard winter, The alliteration in the first two lines remind me of a spring breeze blowing through the trees and whistling though the grass.
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush
Just like today, you can just imagine lambs gamboling in the fields and birds twittering away building their nests.
The second verse speaks of beginnings, a fresh start, full of hope. The Garden of Eden and the innocence of youth before it becomes tainted by Original Sin and life experience.