Poems for Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Amy Lowell
It’s such a beautiful spring! I thought you might enjoy seeing the different ways two of my favorite poets wrote about the season. The first poem is Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a poet with a unique, rhythmic style. His poetry is packed with metaphor and meaning, and springs beautifully when read aloud.
I’ve included only a bit of the second poem, Amy Lowell’s Lilacs as it’s quite long. It beautifully personifies the lilac, leaving the reader with a vivid understanding of the evocative power of a lowly flower. You’ll find the rest of the poem by following the link to the Poetry Foundation website. I hope you enjoy both of these.
Poetry makes excellent copywork as well as material for memorization and recitation. Many parents have reported great success with both when they allow their students to select the poems. Try suggesting a theme such as spring or an animal (my boys always liked William Blake’s The Tyger), and letting them browse the poetry anthology or the Poetry Foundation website to find something they enjoy.
by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
by Amy Lowell, 1874-1925
Color of lilac,
Your great puffs of flowers
Are everywhere in this my New England.
Among your heart-shaped leaves
Orange orioles hop like music-box birds and sing
Their little weak soft songs;
In the crooks of your branches
The bright eyes of song sparrows sitting on spotted eggs
Peer restlessly through the light and shadow
Of all Springs.
Lilacs in dooryards
Holding quiet conversations with an early moon;
Lilacs watching a deserted house
Settling sideways into the grass of an old road;
Lilacs, wind-beaten, staggering under a lopsided shock of bloom
Above a cellar dug into a hill.
You are everywhere.
You were everywhere.
You tapped the window when the preacher preached his sermon,
And ran along the road beside the boy going to school . . .