As Kingfishers Catch Fire

By Gerard Manley Hopkins
1844–1889
      
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.
 
I have often attempted to memorize this poem.  It is such a wonderful, powerful, beautiful idea.  He was ahead of his time in the emphasis on the Self, I feel, and he is emphatic that each of us has a separate yet shared purpose … living out our True Self and at the same time continuing the mission of Jesus – becoming Jesus in and to the world.  This is my understanding of Resurrection … the living on of the mission of Jesus in us and through us.
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