"The priority for our communities, movements, and decision-makers must now be to end the era of fossil fuels and transform our societies and economies towards sustainable systems designed to address peoples’ needs, safety and wellbeing, not profit and greed."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday and the Windhover

"Definition of counterpoint rhythm. : rhythm in poetry including so much metrical inversion that the prevailing cadence ceases at times to prevail and so that a complex rhythm results from the concomitance of the basic cadence with its inversion if … reversal is repeated in two feet running"

I caught this morning radio BBC 4's 'Something Understood' which dwelt on counterpoint.  Listened to the music of Bach as he would have composed playing  through his motifs, blending these small batches of notes to create such beautiful music.  Listened to poetry, the last being the finest by Gerald Manley Hopkins - The Windhover and imagined the moment captured as he viewed this bird in the sky.

The Windhover

 - 1844-1889
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-  
  dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding  
  Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding  
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing  
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
  As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding  
  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding  
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!  
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here  
  Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!  
  No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion  
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,  
  Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
It is the moment when the beauty of this Earth shines through pushing aside the ego, and allowing happiness to shine through.  Yesterday dawned cold but that means the sun will light up the frost on the lawn, the red berries of the yews in the church yard and the holly trees.  Birds will cluster on the feeders because of intense hunger.  Golden leaves of the beeches shine like copper and the sparkling array of Autumn colours shine through on dying plants in the garden.
Looking up 'sillion' what does that mean?
sillion. Noun. (uncountable) (rare) The thick, voluminous, and shiny soil turned over by a plow.
Uncountable that is how the world creates, leaves fall, crumble get turned to soil.  The cycle of life creates and creates again, beauty is there for a brief moment  until the hand of man destroys it with ugly design......


  1. I listened to Something Understood too. The mention of singing "rounds" or catches took me right back to District Cub Scout camps when we would do all the Scout and Cub Scout songs that can be sung as rounds with a fantastic District Scouter called Geoff.
    Sadly I can't remember any off-hand although I'm sure I'd remember if I heard them again.
    Geoff was another person who became ill and passed away far too young.
    Timely rememberings for today.

  2. Sorry about the blue f/b wandering around in space, refuses to move. Bit like how our civilisation is today - always keeping track of us!

  3. One of my favourite poems too Thelma - and those poppies - very poignant. x

  4. Where I grew up, there was built a roundabout near the old Windmill (now restored and not the blackened stump I remember exploring as a child) - they called it Windhover Roundabout. VERY poetic of the Council . . . I don't recall a Windhover Lane (only Windmill Lane - or Hill, as it was one) and two other lanes whose names escape me.

    Beautiful poetry - I really need to read more Manley Hopkins . . .

  5. I love GMH's poetry. Studied them for 'A' level in my twenties and so many of his phrases have stayed with me. Pied Beauty is another favourite. I like the so-called "terrible sonnets" too. He was an acutely sensitive guy.


Love having comments!