99% of my personal library consists of reference books. As a pastor, I’m required to bury my nose in commentaries, theologies, and cultural studies; and that’s just fine. I happen to enjoy that kind of reading. But we become like what we read and pastors who only read non-fiction reference material begin sounding like textbooks. For that reason, I always have a mixture of other types of literature in my reading diet. I listen to novels on audiobooks, and I typically have a book of poetry on my desk or bedside table. In this series of posts, I am sharing some of my favorite sacred poems. I hope they inspire you to search for more.
This is “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.