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April 23rd JP Poem Pick

Thanks to Bart White for choosing today’s poem. Bart says “Gerard Manley Hopkins might add some exotic spice, an Anglican turned Jesuit”…so here’s a poem “to light poetic fire”.

The Caged Skylark

As a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage,
Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—
That bird beyond the remembering hís free fells;
This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life’s age.

Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage
Both sing sometímes the sweetest, sweetest spells,
Yet both droop deadly sómetimes in their cells
Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.

Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest—
Why, hear him, hear him babble and drop down to his nest,
But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.

Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best,
But úncúmberèd: meadow-dówn is not distressed
For a ráinbow fóoting it nor hé for his bónes risen.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1877


Thanks, Bart. So, it seems apt that our prompt today should be based on fire. Let’s write a burning poem. It could be a burning desire, a house aflame, or the fact that you hate filling up your car with over-priced gasoline just to burn through again and again. Have fun.


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