Easter Communion

Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast:
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips,
Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced
To crosses meant for Jesu's; you whom the East
With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips
Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships,
You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased,

God shall o'er-brim the measures you have spent
With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze
And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment
Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease.
Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent:
Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Other poems of HOPKINS (79)

Comments (10)

Hopkins describes a religious experience foreign to most of us. I would not judge the poet by this poem - so much of his work is replete with joy, reverence, and wisdom. Not to mention transcendent language. He is one of the greats. Listen!
For Christ's sake and for the sake of your own literary and mortal soul, read Hopkins' sonnet with an open mind! Put aside the nonsense promulgated by the likes of Straw, Blanes and Miss Garvey who seem determined to obscure the message of a powerful sonnet written for the likes of secular sinners like you and me! How many of us have felt the need to repent for the wromgs we have done to others, intended or not? Easter is always on the horizon for Christians! Even secular saints like Straw in all honesty mist acknowledge that! Hopkins' sonnet has nothing to do with self-flagellation the way some of you read it - a whipping of one's body with knotted ropes! It's more a recognition of our need to repent and take the punishment we deserve! Please take the time to read Father Hopkins' poetry in the spirit hw meant it, rather than the 21st century secular meaning!
@Jon Blanes, Is that a decision or a statement? Nick Kler
I have just joined the Poemhunter group and I am so disappointed in this offering. Gerard Manley Hopkins I do think, is a great poet and this one is generally left right out of the collections, I have never seen it before. I completely agree with the comments of contributors about masochism. Why was this featured> It is not Easter or anything near it, it is not a good poem and has to us rather suspect sentiments. And you could have chosen The Windhover, Pied Beauty, Binsey Poplars or actually just about anything else he wrote, all of which I hugely recommend to you readers. No, this is really going too far and a bit of a shakey start for me. Do look up GMH's stuff though, the Sprung Rhythm does work by the way, I think so.
The last line sums it all up. The peace of the Lord gives rest.Faith can move mountains.
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