Words and Wings
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I recently stumbled on the British comedy Rev. and have been appreciating its raw humour and honesty regarding relationships both human-to-human and human-to-God. If that wasn’t enough, it also introduced me to a lovely poem by Louis MacNeice in Season 1 Episode 4. Thank you, Vicar.
Wow. I found this remarkable. Striking and calming. Illuminating and clouding. Ah poetry. To so simply and succinctly declare such an inspiring directive, without diminishing the weight of the human experience. Thank you, MacNeice.
The feel of the poem, its acknowledgement of everyday things being significant, and the phrase “words and wings” reminded me of one of my favourite poems — Gerard Manley Hopkins‘ Grandeur of God.
A few years ago, Mike Crawford and I created an audio/visual experience of this poem (all audio is his and all visuals are mine).
So many great lines. I love the turn that comes in the second stanza — for all this, nature is never spent; there lives the dearest freshness deep down things. Ah. Hopkins pairs words well (and makes them up when he can’t find one that suits!) — “deep down things” are just three simple words, but strung together and preceded by “dearest freshness” suddenly they become exactly what you didn’t know you definitely meant. Plus, that sighing exclamation of an ending — ah! bright wings. Thank you, Hopkins.