Wednesday, June 20, 2007

O Christ, Christ, Come Quickly!

Picking up from where we left off, at stanza #24 of Hopkins "The Wreck of the Deutschland", we have a moment of intensification and connection. The poet, at first oddly, moves his vision away from the storm and the wreck and takes us away to where he was that fateful day, once again dating the real event to December 7th 1875, in real history, in real fact. And by spiriting us the readers away to Wales, away from the storm, the poet stills down the breathless drama of the poem.

And then the poet connects himself to the Tall Nun. He juxtaposes where he was and where she was on that fateful day. It's as if the Nun IS his heart (and this too connects the second part of the poem, the narrative of the wreck, with the first part of the poem, the intense spiritual experience of Hopkins' response to God): for now the Nun utters the famous cry: "O Christ, O Christ, come quickly!" Hopkins also adds that teh Nun baptizes her own merciless condition in the storm, drowning, and thus reverses its mercilessness: Christens her wild-worst Best."

This stanza is an inspiration to all of us, in the storms of life, real storms: the Cross is our Hope, Christ is our Hope, Christ will save us!

Away in the loveable west,
On a pastoral forehead of Wales,
I was under a roof here, I was at rest,
And they the prey of the gales;
She to the black-about air, to the breaker, the thickly
Falling flakes, to the throng that catches and quails
Was calling ‘O Christ, Christ, come quickly’:
The cross to her she calls Christ to her, christens her wild-worst Best.

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