A poem about grace by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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I had jotted down in my phone: “Whát I dó is me: for that I came.” I don’t know why I wrote it down, but I like the line, so I assume I must have seen it in something and thought that it would be worth investigating, and it was! This poem reads like a certain science-fiction Jedi master wrote it (here’s a hint), but it’s extremely imaginative and has some fun visual imagery (“dragonflies draw flame” and “for Christ plays in ten thousand places”).


“As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

Works Cited