Day 22 and Day 23 with Iggy: Finding God in Poetry

My friend and mentor Mary gave me a book to read today called The Poems of Jesus Christ. It breaks apart the words of Jesus and places them into a creative translation while careful piecing together his elusive and prophetic words in poetic form. She said, while handing it to me, “us English majors have to stick together.” I graciously accept all books and am excited to look at the words of Christ in a new way.

As both a writer and a bibliophile, I am often inspired by words.  It is fitting Mary handed me a book of poetry today because I am often devouring poetry. Yesterday, I was re-reading the words of a great Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and I was  thinking of how I might find God in letters  I first encountered Gerard Manley Hopkins in a creative writing class I took while I was an undergraduate student.  Hopkins writes in his poem Pied Beauty:

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.
I don’t remember which poems of his we read in class. All I remember was loving his work and how he wrote so eloquently of nature. I am so divinely in love with nature and find being wrapped up in outdoor sanctuaries to be a most prayerful experience. What  I love about Gerard Manley Hopkin’s Pied Beauty is his very Ignatian expression of God in all things.  He notes even the dappled things- the imperfect things. He points out the brinded or spotted cow. Perhaps this is a metaphor for the muddled or dirtied things in our lives.  If we can praise God for even a spotted cow, then surely, we can praise God in everything.
I’ll  let the poem speak for itself.  Sometimes its good to let things marinate a bit.

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