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A Captured Moment of Awe

When writer, activist, and wise teacher, Parker Palmer, recommends his favorite poets, I listen.

In his book, On the Brink of Everything, he wrote:

"Poetry has redemptive power for me, as it does for millions of people. Poets like Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Naomi Shihab Nye, William Stafford, and Gerard Manley Hopkins have provided life jackets to keep me from drowning, ballast to keep me from ascending."

I was not familiar with poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Thanks to the Poetry Foundation site, I found some of Hopkins' notable works. Many of them are sonnets. The sight of a soaring hawk always makes me stand still with awe. "The Windhover" expertly captures such a moment. Hopkins felt this poem was one of his best.

‘The Windhover‘

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-

dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy …

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

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