The Windhover Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Windhover

Rating: 3.5


To Christ our Lord


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, 5
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 10
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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Andrew Hoellering 04 February 2010

Another wonderful Hopkins poem that deserves to be read with pleasure, so why not: To Christ our Lord 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, 5 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 10 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.

11 2 Reply
Michael Walker 28 February 2015

The adjectives, especially when hyphenated, are excessive, I find eg 'daylight's dapple- dawn-drawn falcon'. I do not rate this poem highly, as I used to.

1 3 Reply
Aftab Alam Khursheed 24 January 2015

a useful poem for this useless world thanks

1 3 Reply
Pranab K Chakraborty 24 January 2015

Diction gives its a dimension of another rhyming spirit to catch by aggressive passion which stretches the reader from known to abstract. So it is nice. Numbers used within lines are moderate use as it happens at random in mobile messaging.

1 4 Reply
Kim Barney 24 January 2015

Sorry, but this poem just doesn't do anything for me, and what is the numeral 5 doing at the end of line 5?

0 4 Reply
Lawrence Boxall 06 February 2010

This has been my favorite poem for over 30 years and this phrase: “in his riding / Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, ” gives me deep-seated physical and emotional pleasure every time I read it, without fail.

9 1 Reply
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