My Heart Stirred for a Bird

On Monday, I taught four of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poems in my British literature class: “God’s Grandeur,” “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” “The Windhover,” and “Pied Beauty.” When we discussed “The Windhover,” I asked my students to pause over the following lines:

My heart in hiding / Stirred for a bird, –the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

I then asked the students to consider whether they had ever had an experience such as the one Hopkins describes. My own experience of having my heart in hiding stir for something outside of myself involves the below image of Ruth and Naomi from the St. John’s Bible, which I saw when I was in Collegeville, MN in 2013.

Image from the Clark Library: http://wordpress.up.edu/library/saint-johns-bible/
Image from the Clark Library: http://wordpress.up.edu/library/saint-johns-bible/

 

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