Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring and Fall

is a solid offering by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Dedicated "to a young child", it has a great opening couple of lines
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
He's making up the word "unleaving" there - the forest is turning with fall.

In the above link, there's a fair amount of discussion of the poem, which notes that Margaret the name derives from Greek for "pearl," and argues that this is a reference to the Pearl of Great Price, which reads in its entirety:
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
It's also, as I understand it, a standard LDS text.

The pearl also figures greatly in Gnostic Christianity. Appearing in The Acts of Thomas is The Hymn of the Pearl. A young boy is sent to snatch a pearl from a serpent, but becomes so entangled in the foreign society that he forgets his mission, until reminded by a letter sent from his parents about the mission.

The idea is that we are lost in the mundane world about goodness and divinity until we are awakened by god and saved.

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