Wednesday, 28 October 2015

First verse of 'God's Grandeur' by Gerald Manley Hopkins

Passing through a small village in a valley below a shrinking glacier I counted the number of supermarkets. There were five altogether. Four of the supermarkets had a large car park apiece; and on each of the four car parks perhaps half a dozen cars. 

It goes almost without saying that the oversize parking areas were covered with relentless layers of heat grabbing tarmac.  

And then I went for a long walk in the same area with a friend who is a retired cartographer. From a ridge near a mountain summit we gazed down to the valley harbouring the new supermarkets and my friend expressed shock and dismay at the picture below him.  

"That there are so many new buildings in the valley comes as a shock to me as one who surveyed the valley long ago. I remember it was mostly woodland and fields." 

"Where will it all end?" he said after a pause.

"No good will come of it," I replied. 

from God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
  It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
  It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? 
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
  And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
  And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. 


  1. Thanks for running a little of Hopkins.

    He was quite something.

    In many ways, so pertinent today.

  2. Thanks Donal. Yes, pertinent today indeed. And as you also say, he was quite something. "Nature is never spent . . . morning at the brown brink eastward springs."

  3. If we are to be here then that is the way it will be.

  4. Metaphors can be the tools of truth, or lies.
    __As an "Eldster" I watch the poisons grow; Make Room, Make Room. Pave all things with commerce, and most regenerated eyes... overlook the asphalt.

    1. They drive half a mile in their big black diesel cars headlights blazing on a summer's day to redeem a 10% discount on a extra thick salami pizza instead of walking around the village shops which no longer exist. Good business for the drug companies and doctors dealing with the consequences of it all, so I guess somebody is benefiting.

  5. In the States, we share something of the same phenomenon, but with pharmacy chains. Four large obnoxious chains purposely set up shop all on the same intersections. Why? They can't possibly be filled with customers... they simply want to drive the other three out of business. All it produces is parking-lot blight. I'm not an eco-warrior by any means and even I see it as a disgusting wasteful misuse of land.

    1. ... and to echo that: "Super Drug Store" crossroads, the Clutter Corners_!.
      __Is anyone annoid by the overwhelming -drug advertisments- as recently seen in the TV media out-put_?

    2. Magyar and Vega, it's all part of the same racket. Politicians here refer to it as 'economic growth' even when unemployment rises month on month for 24 months and all hell is banging on the door.

    3. Obviously prime agricultural land is cheaper than inner city hence the shark!


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