Musical Monday: As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, in National Geographic online

My first poetry “Musical Monday” will have to be one of my all-time favorite poems: “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. In college, I did my major English project on Hopkins, and he is very dear to my heart. “Kingfishers” was the first poem of his that I memorized, which is appropriate, considering it is all about the goodness written within us!

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AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;

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 do is me: for that I came.

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Í say móre: the just man justices;

Kéeps gráce: 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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Dear reader, here’s to keeping all your goings graces, and to remembering above all how lovely Christ is in lovely you!

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