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By Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ was an English poet and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets.


By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things— 
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; 
And áll trádes, 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. 


This is one of Hopkins’ “curtal” (or curtailed) sonnets.  Instead of the eight lines of the octave to six with the ABC ABC rhyming.

The six lines of the sestet have been reduced to four and a half.

This alteration of the sonnet form, to me anyway, is quite fitting to this type of poem, and I like it very much. I like the variation on the word "pied", eg "dappled", "stipple", "tackle", "fickle", "freckled", "adazzle" etc which weave together the poem with the colours suggested by these words.

I noticed the word 'brinded' and having been a teacher of typewriting all my life I thought: 'Surely this should have been'brindled' which means dappled in colour.  But no, brinded is what he wrote and brinded is what was published.  So don't be afraid of making a new word, it seems.  Quite honestly, I believe that 'brinded' was a typing mistake that the publisher overlooked - and perhaps that is how a new word came into existence. So what do you think?


On my own poem, however, I use the word 'BRINDLED' and I'm staying with this word.  Don't think I've made a mistake. 

Dictionary definition of brindled:  having obscure dark streaks or flecks on a usually gray or tawny ground a brindled cow.

I love the way he praises God for these stippled, 'brindled' and pied colours that we see in the world of nature, and I have finished my own poem "Brindled Beauty" with thanks also.


                                                                                Enough!  Josie  

See my 'shadow poem' based on this wonderful poem:  'BRINDLED BEAUTY'
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