Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Poem

I'm not a poet but once a year I like to write a Thanksgiving poem. I think it is good exercise for the brain and the soul. Last year I wrote a take on Walt Whitman's Miracles. This year I did a variation on Gerard Manley Hopkins' Pied Beauty. Whitman is more my style and easy for me to imitate but I just adore Hopkins and am willing to stretch myself. Sadly meter is not my strength but I did follow his rhyme pattern and general line length. Though it is not a great poem it captures well the small things I'm deeply grateful for right now. One of which is sheets dried on the line. I love how they smell and this is crazy but I also love looking out the window at them.

Simple Gifts

Glory be to God for simple gifts--
For keys hanging faithfully where I left them;
For a child's dimpled hand warm in mine;
For a spider web spread and bedazzled by morning mist;
For twilight sky--silver dome with golden rim;
For stiff white sheets smelling of leaves and sunshine;
For those who daily forgive the absurd things I do and say;
For the scent of new books, sagebrush and rain, fresh cut pine;
For four sleeping kids, no sound but the clock and the distant freeway.
God's in the details, praise Him.

Now the original by Gerard Manley Hopkins. And it is so good, I'm a little embarrassed that I even tried.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose moles all in a stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, 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;
Praise Him.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Picasa


Linn said...

Absolutely beautiful Ruth! The original is wonderful, but I truly love yours more. Thanks for reminding me what I am grateful for--happy, happy day.

Brandan & Becky said...

Thanks for sharing your poem. I love the imagery and the emotion. I feel like a Philistine- I spent no time contemplating grace this week, let alone poetry. I'm fairly tired from our roadtrip, but I'll go to bed thinking of things to be grateful for.

Hammy said...

Hopkins is one of my very favorite poets. As is Mitchell!