Kingfishers Catch Fire

Now, browsing the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, this caught my eye:

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Kingfishers Catch Fire is the title of a novel by Rumer Godden, an extraordinary ‘minor’ English writer and a late convert to Roman Catholicism. She is an excellent, ‘beady-eyed’ writer – The Greengage Summer is a wonderful account of adolescence and, of course, she also wrote Black Narcissus, turned into one of the strangest films ever made…

[Image rights here]

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3 Responses to Kingfishers Catch Fire

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