we were reading Gerard Manley Hopkins in literature class. his time-worn, enchanting metaphorical verses, richly ‘twined with religious and spiritual themes, is the very stuff that speaks to my soul.
I was sitting at the kitchen table, elbows out, in the house of the little boys that I babysit. they had been asleep for many minutes now, and I had already tidied up and finished my homework.
mr. and mrs. are usually home a couple minutes before 10. tonight, however, I have a feeling that they’ll be arriving a bit later, which isn’t unwelcome to a broke teenager. might as well be paid for an hour of boredom.
boredom is not destined for me however. my eye strays to a printout of extra credit opportunities tucked into my binder sleeve.
“write a poem imitating Gerard Manley Hopkins”
thoughts have been buzzing around in my head today, about winter and the seasons and especially SAD (Seasonal Affectation Disorder). this year I have come to realize that I have a little bit of SAD mixed into my mess of a mind due to the way that it mirrors the sky. when the grey and gloom and fog obscure the dome of the earth, they tend to cloud my head as well.
but there’s hope, there’s always hope in Him, just as winter melts into spring, and darkness is dissolved beneath the influence of light.
“peace will win, and fear will lose”
those thoughts buzzing around in my head leak through my veins, into my pencil, and take shape in messy handwriting scrawled across the back of a literature worksheet.
those thoughts give life and movement to the words as I take them from a skeleton and build them into a castle of my emotions, Hopkins gently guiding the creative process and keeping together my usual haphazard structure.
mr. and mrs. come home at 10:45 and I am soon dashing across the street, feeling the chlorine bubbling up in my chest and the extra $10 clutched in my hand. i rush breathless up to my mom’s room and force her to read my poem while I dash in a new word here and there.
and she is christened undulation, born from the dangerous rogue of boredom and baptized by the soft hands of Hopkins and metaphor.
she isn’t nearly as romantic and rose-colored as I describe her, yet she satisfies something inside which perhaps needed to be incarnated into ink that night. she’s hope, if anything else, and i hope she may become something to you.
The air is abalm with odours sweet,
As the breeze chases them through frolicking light arrayed
On the grasses climbing towards the sun’s lofty seat,
Where presiding she smiles on Spring’s punctuated days.
Until waning she loses her mighty grasp on the weeks,
And Falls into mists and many morbid moods,
That suffocate man’s spirit until steady Discontent,
Inside him broods.
But winter’s white prayers come and begin their work,
Until vanishing they awaken the souls of stagnant earth
And hidden life deep,
So that bursting in golden green raiment forth,
God’s promise into man’s soul may creep.
“I ponder of something great, my lungs will fill and then deflate. They fill with fire, exhale desire, I know it’s dire, my time today.” -car radio