Featured Poem: Hurrahing in Harvest by Gerard Manley Hopkins

On this grey Monday we’re turning our thoughts to Gerard Manley Hopkins for enlightenment and his poem Hurrahing in Harvest.

What it is that is occurring (or not occurring) in relation to British seasons, no-one knows. Summer waved a fleeting hello (did it say goodbye?) and now winter seems to be well and truly here, although whether or not it will ever get ‘properly cold’ is another thing. The changeable state of our natural environment – whenever it may occur – is something we should rejoice and Angela Macmillan’s choice for our Monday poem ‘Hurrahing in Harvest’ may be, as she says, “a little late for harvest but everything about our seasons are in disarray”, is a celebratory reminder of the varying nature of our surroundings, whatever the season.

Hurrahing in Harvest

Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-waiver
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across the skies?

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
And, eyes, heart, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
Majestic – as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet! –
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.

Gerard Manley Hopkins