Gerard Manley Hopkins

(28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889 / Stratford, Essex)

Heaven-Haven - Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail,
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

Comments about Heaven-Haven by Gerard Manley Hopkins

  • (10/6/2018 4:44:00 PM)

    I always believed this poem to be about a nun taking her vows. It moves me greatly. But then, I AM Irish. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/28/2018 8:19:00 PM)

    It is appallingly badly read by someone who has a tin ear - Hopkins deserves better. (Report) Reply

  • (12/25/2017 5:01:00 AM)

    A sad poem. Simple yes, but carries the despair and the poet's depression. Verbs used 'desired' and 'asked' indicate a high level of low humour. The need to go to heaven. Sometimes simplicity illustrates genius. (Report) Reply

  • Albert Martín (4/1/2015 1:09:00 AM)

    What a delicious writing. Lovely in its briefness. (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Vaughan Jones (4/2/2014 4:05:00 AM)

    He is one of the great immortals, thats a given. But sometimes even the lordliest and grandest poet / writer can be at a loss for something to write. By nature we HAVE to write, so he doodles, scribbles and fiddles about searching for inspiration. We are all human and we've all done it. So, to be brutally honest, in this instant he has scrawled lines of bad grammar, with no lilt or assonance and the basic cliches of imagination. He would probably wish that he'd scrapped it if he were here today. I would have preferred it if he'd let it find it's own way to the litter bin. (Report) Reply

  • Biplab Singha (4/1/2014 10:41:00 PM)

    Wow! what an imaginative world
    Created by you.
    Please don't go alone
    Let me take with along.
    (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (4/1/2014 9:35:00 PM)

    Beautiful simple with full of bliss. (Report) Reply

  • Michelle Claus (4/1/2014 3:08:00 PM)

    I can relate from time to time to the poet's earnest longing. Evocative. Sparse. A little odd, somewhat memorable. (Report) Reply

  • Babatunde Aremu (4/1/2014 8:41:00 AM)

    This is simply fantastic! I like it (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2012 9:30:00 PM)

    i like's very nice. (Report) Reply

  • D.l. Aceves (4/1/2012 11:23:00 AM)

    Woah, that April 1 thing is weird. (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2011 10:37:00 PM)

    It's kind of funny that this poem always seems to be posted on the first of April every year based on the dates of the comments. (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2011 10:35:00 PM)

    My first impression of this poem is that I didn't care much for it. I didn't like the rhythm very much, the tone was much too somber.

    But after reading it a few times, I feel that it MIGHT grow on me. It has decent imagery and the words emit a humility of some sort. It reminds me of those days where it is gray outside with the smell of rain on the way, but the grasses are bright. Ever line of this poem gives me this mental image, it is slightly haunting.
    (Report) Reply

  • Smoky Hoss (4/1/2011 2:06:00 PM)

    But, if he ever were to write something 'new' I bet it'd be extremely metaphorical, considering his present state and all! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Juan Olivarez (4/1/2011 9:36:00 AM)

    You're gonna wait a long time Jason he's been dead for over a hundred years. (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2011 3:00:00 AM)

    your so good in writing poems mr. hopkins.
    im waiting for more.
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2010 6:07:00 PM)

    Whenever I see a poem posted on this site written by a clegyman or a Christian mystic, I anticipate a response from the village atheist as he goes door to door peddling his noxious wares! Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. was both priest and poet, a gifted writer and a devout believer in a faith that demanded a strong will and the ability to persevere. Of course, one can read Hopkins or Shakespeare and utter as commentary 'So! ? ' What does 'Heaven-Haven' mean to those smug atheists who can sit back and wave a languid wrist at someone who puts his beliefs in well-chosen words the way Father Hopkins does?

    The adjectives are few and far between. I count fewer than a baker's dozen - sharp and sided, a few, a green swell in havens dumb, Not one syllable more than is absolutely necessary to evoke the sensuous imagery of a stormy green day in the highlands with the implied comfort of that 'heaven-haven' the speaker desires.
    Perhaps it's true as Fiona writes that such yearning is universal, but take note how well Hopkins embodies that abstract longing in vivid language!
    (Report) Reply

    (10/10/2018 2:25:00 AM)

    How sad! For atheist read humanist, and we humanists have wide sympathies that allow us to be moved by this and other poems of Hopkins, as by much other religious art, without it making any inroads whatever on our agnosticism. You, with your mean and narrow outlook, would have difficulty understanding that.

    (7/1/2018 10:58:00 AM)

    As one of your 'noxious' atheists - good example of christian tolerance there - I can at least say that I am not complicit in the oceans of blood and centuries of cruelty with which supernaturalists have made this planet wretched.

  • Indira Renganathan (4/1/2010 10:32:00 AM)

    Who does not desire to be in a Heaven-Haven....a sample poem of human desire
    by the words of the poet
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2010 9:14:00 AM)

    I like this...the occasional desire to retreat is natural but finding somewhere to do it....much more difficult! (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (4/1/2010 2:12:00 AM)

    A problem-less life he wishes to have and says it's heaven! Well and good to have a such one for all! (Report) Reply

Read all 26 comments »

# 269 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
2,9 / 5 ( 161 votes ) 24

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: green, sea, heaven, spring

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]