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Featured Poem: Inversnaid by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 16th November 2015

Always a favourite to read aloud with his special liking for sprung rhythm, this week's Featured Poem is a choice from Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins visited Inversnaid - located on the east bank of Loch Lomond in Scotland - and this poem was the product, evoking the wild and untouched wonders of nature. As Autumn turns into Winter, it's a particularly good one to read if you're planning any seasonal walks and adventures before the frosts set in.


This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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