The Windhover

 Posted by on April 4, 2012  Add comments
Apr 042012
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 Many years ago our English teacher read this poem to us and in our ignorance we struggled with its meaning.  At that time it meant little to me except that inexplicably some of the phrases planted themselves inside me and over the years I would catch myself whispering  them to myself.  And now I have found the image that matches my understanding of the words written by the Jesuit Priest, Gerard Manley Hopkins, who expresses the connection he felt for Christ through the metaphor of the falcon.

The Windhover

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
    dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
    As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
    Buckle! and the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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  3 Responses to “The Windhover”

  1. I find this image very haunting Pauline. The figure reaching out for something. I want to be able to give to it what it wants but I just dont know how too…..

    • Why that’s very simple Ferg, you’re being asked to give your heart to the world and listen to your soul.

  2. I see more of a wave… A signal …. ” I stand here “

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