This Father’s Day I had planned to post a poem I wrote in honor of my Italian father and grandfather a few years back, but this morning I heard the phrase “fathers-forth” in my heart. Deep within me the voice of Gerard Manley Hopkins echoed and I knew that today was a day for Pied Beauty (click on the link to see the poem in proper format).
A day for BEAUTY? How? I mean, how can I suggest beauty when I woke from my Father’s Day nap to The Epoch Times headline, “9 Dead, 56 Shot in Chicago Father’s Day Weekend Violence; Toddler Killed.” Turn on mainstream media (of which The Epoch Times is not, by the way) and you won’t find beauty anywhere in the predominant narrative. FEAR. HATE. GREED. These are the three pillars of the prevailing spirit trying to cripple the world. And rather than be defeated, rather than throw up my hands in surrender, rather than lose heart, I give you the prophetic words of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
There is a greater Spirit at work moving over the darkness and the prophets still declare the power of that Spirit that “fathers-forth whose beauty is past change.” Indeed. Praise Him!
Pied Beauty – 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:
Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)