Monday, June 8, 2015

The Song of Creation

To Gerard Manley Hopkins

Creation sings of the glory of God.
We do not hear it but see it
In brilliant interstices
Opening and closing
Of trees waving to and fro
When the world is radiant,
In glittering leaves,
Beaming stones,
Mountain streams, flashing
Metal foil flattened
By fists, smoothed
By hands.

The blind hear the song in the trees yearning to speak.
They inhale it in the attenuated wind,
Taste it in fruits bursting with water.
Bending down to touch the earth,
They become one with the beginning of all things,
Pushing roots into the soil,
Unfolding leaves,
Joining hands with the sun and the dead
Brought back to life.

Originally published in Blue Heron Review, Issue 3 (Winter 2015)

We do not hear it but see it in brilliant interstices opening and closing...


  1. Photo credit: Tom Sulcer, Scene at Briant Park in Summit, New Jersey, Sunlight Through the Trees (June 16, 2012)

    Photo link:


  2. June 8, 2015 is the death anniversary of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889).


  3. St. John of the Cross tells us in the Ascent of Mount Carmel, a lofty treatise of the spiritual life, of how he was granted a mystical vision of creation in praise to God, in which all creatures give honor, glory, and praise to the Creator, each according to its nature. It is a vision of the praise of creation akin to musical harmony:

    “In that nocturnal tranquility and silence and in knowledge of the divine light the soul becomes aware of Wisdom’s wonderful harmony and sequence in the variety of her creatures and works. Each of them is endowed with a certain likeness of God and in its own way gives voice to what God is in it. So creatures will be for the soul a harmonious symphony of sublime music surpassing all concerts and melodies of the world. She calls this music ‘silent’ because it is tranquil and quiet knowledge, without the sound of voices. And thus there is in it the sweetness of music and the quietude of silence. Accordingly, she says that her Beloved is silent music because in him she knows and enjoys this symphony of spiritual music.”

    Source: St. John of the Cross, “The Spiritual Canticle” in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1991), pp. 535-36.