Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Any friend of Hopkins is a friend of mine.

Now this looks fun: Dappled Things - a "Catholic Literary Magazine for Young Scholars." I've just got to send them something! The introduction on their site is neat:

Letter from the Editor

"Glory be to God for dappled things," writes the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in the poem "Pied Beauty," first naming things literally colored with contrasting speckles and patches: streaked skies, spotted trout, great fields sectioned and ploughed and planted. He then extends his definition of "dappled" to mean

"…[a]ll things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim…"

According to Hopkins, dappled things are those things we find irregular and surprising that are in fact lovelier and more lovable for their being irregular and surprising. We can think of an infinite number of such strangely beautiful things: the patches on an overripe fruit, a sudden slow and sad passage in a song, even the inexplicable peace that comes of suffering. These "dappled things," things at once "swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim," confound our human love for safety, thwart our wish to see unblemished fruit, to listen to music that does not carry us away, to live a life without challenge. How can it be that we grow to love things that once made us uncomfortable, that we rejoice in things we once found imperfect? How is it that the things, the events, and the men that the world finds weakest and worst often give rise to the greatest joy? It is a mystery, in the fullest sense of the term, and "Pied Beauty" delights in it.

We at Dappled Things delight, too: in that mystery, and in the genius of Gerard Manley Hopkins, that he can muse in a poem on "skies of couple-color as a brinded cow" and yet through that poem hint at the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For surely that is the most dappled thing in all human history, the strangest and the most beautiful, at once "swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim."

The Psalmist invites us, "Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us!" We the editors of Dappled Things invite you, our Catholic brothers and sisters, to sing and shout in our pages about our dappled world. Write about spotted trout and brinded cows, or write about the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We ask only that your work be inspired by your love for Him and His Church in the fullness of her Scripture and Tradition, her sacraments, and her communion of saints.

Mary Angelita Ruiz


It's very new - the first edition will be published this December. I'm always on the prowl for good modern poetry, and this looks promising. Thanks for the link, Matthew!

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