Message from Belle to her Writerly Friend, 29 November 2011
... I looked up the poems you referred to... I am amazed that you picked out that David had recited the Hopkins - that had gone completely over my head at the performance - I thought he was quoting solely Emerson the whole time, other than invented business with the waitress. I haven't read a lot of Hopkins, but of the little that I have, I have always felt deeply drawn into his rocking, mesmerizing rhythms and sonorities.***
Good morning darling - and thank you for your eloquent page hit overnight. Yes, you're exactly right - the poem my friend recited, as we stood together on the windswept riverfront, was indeed Pied Beauty.
Very many kisses, I'll catch up with you later, have a wonderful day -
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89)
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.
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
3 December 2011
For silence, I have to look at the river, and draw calm from its smoothly dappled surface. In the middle of the river, across from where I sit (at a wood picnic table on the rubbled waterfront point - stones and rocks and gravel underfoot, a few twigs, not the colors of nature, but of a postindustrial landscape, the only green at the moment sporadic tufts of very tough weeds, though there is a stand of four trees, right on the water, reminiscent of the columns of a memorial, perhaps on the Potomac.
Still that helicopter annoyingly thrums. (But why should I bother you with it?)