Heaven-Haven : A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

A nun takes the veil

In honour of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
who died in 1897 at the age of 24


Saint Thérèse on her deathbed 


I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be 
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

34 thoughts to “Heaven-Haven : A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins”

    1. Not a positive development. All her other 5 sisters became nuns, which eliminates these genes from the White gene pool forever. Same with celibate priests. No holy men or women should ever be forbidden to marry. In fact no superior IQ woman should be able to ascend the ladder of wealth and success UNLESS she produces three children.
      Same for same men.

      Today’s gene pool-genome is something to want to Poupon.

      1. No, exceptions must be made for the clergy and for religious celibates and sages who value a single life of chastity and self-abnegation. We don’t want to live in an Orwellian world in which White Nationalists morph into Big Bother and start laying down the law on how many children everyone must have. Such a totalitarian attempt to enforce copulation on those who are averse to it is doomed to failure.

    2. Tears indeed! HP
      Saint Thérèse of Lisieux was a poet of no mean talent. Saint Thérèse was devoted to Joan of
      Arc. She was instrumental in the process of Joan’s canonization. It was said that no one could refuse Saint Thérèse and Joan was eventually canonized in 1920, 500 years after her murder, at a burning stake, by the evil Roman clerics and France’s English overlords.
      it was written that Joan of Arc had the face of an angel of unsurpassed beauty. The death mask of Saint Thérèse
      is also of great beauty. One wonders if Joan had a visage such as Saint Thérèse.
      Mark Twain’s most personal favorite of all his works and one of his least known is “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc”, by the Sieur Louis de Conte. Published 1896 as a novel Mark Twain remarked …. “I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure …”
      Note that Twain’s book came out one year before the death of Saint Thérèse.
      Some things cannot be explained and some that we can only wonder at. What is this mysterious connection between the two angelic Saints of Rome separated by 500 years and Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who wrote:
      “There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is – in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree – it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime – the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor his Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled.”
      Still, Twain felt that Joan of Arc was the finest human being that ever trod this earth.

  1. “A candidate for sainthood, Kateri Tekakwitha was a Mohawk woman who in 1677 became the first Indian nun. So great was her piety, it is said, that when she died a miracle occurred: smallpox scars that had disfigured her face since childhood abruptly disappeared.”

    Even though he would have understood, no doubt Creator was very pleased that she was able to meet him lookin’ good.

  2. Lasha is tired, had enough of the daily racket, wants some peace + quiet far from the madding crowd 🙂 , … poetry is a blessing to those capable of it, i feel wheelchair-bound, no pole vault discipline in paralympics.

    1. And for the rest of us beasts that perish unable to find refuge in calm seas:

      He that has and a little tiny wit,
      With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
      Must make content with his fortunes fit,
      Though the rain it raineth every day.

  3. Does Catholicism make the English better poets? TS Eliot was American so I won’t include him but John Donne was a Catholic, although later he renounced Catholicism and was rewarded with a chaplainship, after which he dished a lot of trash talk against the Catholic Church. Not Southwell: he stayed Catholic and was hanged for it.
    Maybe Catholicism only makes them metaphysical poets. Crashaw converted to Caholicism but neither Marvell nor Herbert were Catholics.
    Never mind. This proves how hard it is to come up with a baseless theory that can’t be falsified… 🙂

    1. @ Ariadnatheo

      “Does Catholicism make the English better poets? TS Eliot was American so I won’t include him…”

      Interesting comment, but note that both the poets you mention converted to Catholicism as adults. I wouldn’t say that their Catholicism necessarily made them “better poets”. What matters here is their very deep immersion in Christian mysticism and philosophy. Without this, there would have been no poetry at all; not this intensity of feeling, anyway.

      Hopkins was deeply influenced by Duns Scotus and the Greek philosophers, particularly Plato and the neoplatonists. Eliot was influenced not only by Christian mysticism but by Vedanta, especially the Upanishads which is quoted in The Waste Land.

      Re the poem, “Heaven-Haven”, this was one of Hopkins very early poems written (I think) while he was still at Oxford as an undergraduate. It’s written in the old style. When he was 24 he burned all his poems on a bonfire and became religious. This is one of the early poems that escaped the blaze. He never wrote another line for seven years.

      Only after he became a Jesuit did he start writing poetry again but it was now in a completely different style called “sprung rhythm”. To his contemporaries, his verse was totally weird and unfashionably eccentric. He suffered from fits of profound depression, known today as “bipolar disorder.”

      BTW, he was only 5ft 2 inches tall and his behavior was decidedly odd. His best poems, among the finest of the 20th century and among my favorites, are known today as “The Terrible Sonnets.” They are beautifully written, each a cry of utter anguish — “an articulate scream”, to quote some authority whose name I’ve forgotten.

      Here is one such cri de coeur:

      ‘No worst’

      No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
      More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
      Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
      Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
      My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-
      Woe, wórld-sorrow; on an áge-old ánvil wínce and síng—
      Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
      Ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief.’

      O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
      Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
      May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
      Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
      Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
      Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.

      1. Here is the sestet (last six lines) of one of his most memorable “Terrible Sonnets”:

        I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree
        Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
        Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood grimmed the curse.

        Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
        The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
        As I am mine, their sweating selves; but worse.

      2. Beautiful (and instructive) but….
        “His best poems, among the finest of the 20th century”???

      3. One more. Undoubtedly his best. I believe this is one of LD’s favorites:


        Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
        Not untwist – slack they may be – these last strands of man
        In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
        Can something, hope, wich day come, not choose not to be.
        But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
        Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
        With darksome devouring eyes my buisèd bones? and fan,
        O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

        Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear,
        Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
        Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.

        Cheer whóm though? The héro whose heáven-handling flúng me, fóot tród
        Me? Or mé that fóught him? O whích one? is it eách one? That níght, that year
        Of now done darkness I wretched lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

      4. @ Ariadnatheo

        I guess Hopkins is an acquired taste. When I was young and studying English at university, Hopkins was linked with TS Eliot as one of the two best English poets of the 20th century. Rilke in Germany was ranked as high as them. Personally, I believe Yeats belongs in this pantheon.

        I can understand it if you don’t care all that much for Hopkins. To like him you need to be religious. If you don’t believe in God, Hopkins will leave you cold.

        Same with Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’. If you’re an atheist, these will mean nothing to you.

        To appreciate Mozart or Beethoven, both of whom were profoundly religious — steeped in Christianity — it’s hard to see how anyone can appreciate them without being on their spiritual wavelength.

        Anyway, my apologies if I have given you any offense. I don’t want to sound preachy. My knowledge of these matters is on my own admission superficial.

  4. ~ they cut men’s throats with whispers~

    ” An Eye of Death + Rees + Google Books .com”

    Sometimes they get stabbed in the eye too, but that’s what “Our” “Sacred” “Blessed ” Holy” British-Israel “ISIS” Faerie Queen Elizabeth the First’s agent Frizer did to Christopher Marlowe, never mind, lol.

  5. You misunderstood my question. GMH lived and wrote in the 19th century. You may say “his poems… the finest ever,” but not “the finest of the 20th century.”

    1. @ Ariadnatheo

      You misunderstood my question. GMH lived and wrote in the 19th century. You may say “his poems… the finest ever,” but not “the finest of the 20th century.”

      You’re right. I not only misunderstood your question, I was actually wrong to mix up Hopkins’ dates by placing him in the 20th century and saying he was one of the greatest 20th century poets. A huge mistake on my part! Sorry.

      How did I form this misconception? I think the answer is this. A little research will show you that Hopkins, though definitely a 19th century poet — he died in 1889 — was UNKNOWN AND UNREAD by his 19th century contemporaries and only became famous in the 20th century. During his life, Hopkins’ poems were circulated only in private among a small coterie centering around Robert Bridges, his personal friend and patron. A collected edition of Hopkins’ work was only published in 1918 and another expanded edition in 1930. In short, Hopkins was only “discovered” well into the 20th century.

      “During his lifetime, Hopkins published few poems. It was only through the efforts of Robert Bridges that his works were seen. Despite Hopkins burning all his poems on entering the Jesuit novitiate, he had already sent some to Bridges who, with a few other friends, was one of the few people to see many of them for some years. After Hopkins’s death they were distributed to a wider audience, mostly fellow poets, and in 1918 Bridges, by then poet laureate, published a collected edition; an expanded edition, prepared by Charles Williams, appeared in 1930, and a greatly expanded edition by William Henry Gardner appeared in 1948 (eventually reaching a fourth edition, 1967, with N. H. Mackenzie).”


      In a sense, you could say Hopkins was very much a 20th century poet since his reputation as a poet only took root well into the 20th century. You are of course absolutely correct to say he was a 19th century poet.

      1. No worries.
        Jumping FAR from the topic but preserving the syntax of a statement in your last paragraph, I would like to hear it said (soon!) that
        “The Protocols is very much a 21st century creation since its reputation as a manifest of Jewish global ambitions only took root well into the 21sth century.”
        …. 🙂

  6. Only at this point have i caught onto the fact that the headlined poem is not by Lasha but some Hopkins dude.
    Well, it is still a fine poem but not as fine as it would have been had it been Lasha’s.

    Caveat Dyslextor.

  7. I was comforted as a child by the mystic saints in the Catholic church. Mysticism was an odd contrast to the harsh and phony Catholic church in general. Hildegarde and Catherine were among my favorites, including Francis. In childhood, I had a memorable mystical experience in a Catholic church building. I believe it was from/with Christ Jesus who was protecting me (spirit-being) from the hypocrisy in the Catholic church with its evil works. Perhaps, some of the mystics were in the church, but separated from it as I was as a child. I know how evil the Roman Catholic church is. I was there and saw what they did and do. I say “do” because I doubt they stopped based on the increasing evil all around the world. What they do is Satan worship on the altars in their churches. The ones the public attends. Child-sacrifice by night; public pray and church service by day. Oh, if people only knew! Is it every church building? I know not. But based on their history, I don’t think it’s rare. It is a mockery of the animal-sacrifices Biblical Israelites were told by God to do. EVIL! Not only were animal-substitute sacrifices abolished by Jesus; replaced by Self-sacrifice, the priesthood was also abolished by Jesus; with Christ as the only King and High-Priest. Judaism disgusts me and I am repulsed by the Talmud, but the Catholic church practices evil deception beyond belief. The Catholic church and Talmudism appear the same to me.

    Living the life of a mystic is not an easy life, but we must not assume that a mystic out in the world (working for Christ) is any less honorable for the work they do for Christ Jesus.

    I am reminded not to forget that idol worship is breaking one of the Commandments (#2).
    Commandments –

    1. I get the impression that you, like many fallen away Catholics, probably abandoned the Catholic Church and Catholic faith primarily because you chose not to confess to a priest in the sacrament of confession a serious sin you committed, usually fornication or masturbation. Remember the first words that John the Baptist, Jesus, and his apostles and disciples said to the people: “Repent and believe….” We will not believe, we will lose the faith that we once had, if we refuse to humble ourselves before God and admit that we have sinned, that we are sinners, and ask for forgiveness with a firm purpose of amendment for our lives.

  8. I would never do #2, especially in public!
    Oh, wait .. yes I would.
    Holy cow, not another death sentence!!

  9. Administration :

    What Catholic religious order of nuns was “our” new “Catholic” skool monitor “Sister” Monica take her vow to before she skipped out of the convent, and Heck, totally rejected EVERYTHING about Catholicism? And what exactly is the “aggrieved disgruntled disappointed” bug that she got up her ass about Catholicism that she rejected The Faith In TOTO?

    Did Uncle, I hope, clean out his desk in TOTO before he left, or did he leave alot of junk for all of you to clean up after he skipped out on us?

    Pat is The Straw Man around here.

    Uncle is The Lion around here.

    I hope this new one, this Sister Monica monitor person, I hope she doesn’t turn out to be The Tin Man around here, but I have a feeling she’ll be The Tin Man around here and real fast will she morph into The Tin Man around here. That’s just my feeling about it, that’s all, 😉 .

  10. With passionate aspiration that embraces the living Christ Being, the door opens with the majestic sound of a thousand waterfalls. Some will leave the door open, some will close the door behind them,

  11. Here is a movie about the “Little Flower.” A tragic life cut short by a most difficult death. I find it most ironic to see the image of St. Thérèse juxtaposed below tiny sluts prancing on stage.

    Those with normal emotions can perhaps feel the pull to reach out and hold the Little Flower; to brush her hair aside, while telling her they will be there for her no matter what, to the very end.

    By contrast one can can only feel empty disgust and antipathy for the little dancers who engender no such warm feelings, only cold sexual allure for those who should not be let anywhere near a child.

    What has the white race allowed to happen to their children? How parents can not only permit, but actually foster, such behavior by their young daughters is beyond comprehension. Are they not aware what a life of prostitution means to a young girl? The steady downward spiral to disease and addiction that typically leads an early and often violent death? Or if they are “lucky,” they might become a “high class” call girl that will never have the opportunity to squeeze the slightest shred of self respect or meaningful purpose from their existence.

    How many little Jewesses does one find dancing across the stage at this age, dressed like common street whores? Could their absence be due to the fact that Jews want Jewish mothers instead of disease-ridden prostitutes? It makes one wonder how and why Jewesses sometime grow up to be like Sarah Silverman. But even foul-mouthed Jewish sluts have the Jew’s twisted agenda at heart. Sex is just the means used to achieve the end they seek.

    But most of all who would want a mother who cannot name their father, and worse, could not care less? I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a mother whose only reason for existence was the pursuit of another sexual escapade. How empty could such a life be for both mother and child? How can anyone even think of seeing their daughter immersed in a seamy life of moral abasement and corruption? No wonder Jews think white people are as dumb as cattle.

    I look at the images of motherhood from the early to mid twentieth century. I look at the Norman Rockwell images of childhood and wonder how Americans ever became convinced that those were such terrible times in America. How do those Norman Rockwell images contrast with the images of little girls prancing across the Talmudvision screen dressed in obviously provocative red and black outfits, long recognized colors of the prostitute.

    As any mentally deranged social justice warrior might say, “Well at least we’re not racist any more.” So this is the price paid for those imaginary returns on Jewish egalitarianism? To my way of thinking America’s have been cheated, one might even say “Jewed,” but that of course would be considered racist.

    1. I find it most ironic to see the image of St. Thérèse juxtaposed below tiny sluts prancing on stage.

      I agree. This is most regrettable … in very poor taste. The irony is that you will often find good folk the bad folk juxtaposed in cemeteries, in parallel graves, with no attempt to separate the saints from the sinners. 🙂

  12. How about “Spring and Fall”?

    Márgarét, áre you gríeving
    Over Goldengrove unleaving?
    Leáves like the things of man, you
    With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
    Ah! ás the heart grows older
    It will come to such sights colder
    By and by, nor spare a sigh
    Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
    And yet you wíll weep and know why.
    Now no matter, child, the name:
    Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
    Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
    What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
    It ís the blight man was born for,
    It is Margaret you mourn for.

  13. …Or “The Windhover: To Christ Our Lord”

    I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
    dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
    High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
    In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
    As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
    Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

    Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
    Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
    Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

    No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
    Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

  14. I feel that the poetry lovers of Darkmoon will appreciate one of the poems of 9 year old French Girl Minou Drouet written in 1956 and first published in English that same year. She was blind at birth. Her vision was restored about the age of 8 and had an outpouring of poems dedicated to her mother, the doctor and others.
    I have set 11 of her poems in the form of modern art songs that will be performed here on the Left Coast. Here is one.
    Black confetti ringed with rust.
    Grey circles where laughs the light
    Of a porthole open to the other-where.

    All the eyes of the world
    Your fingers have hatched from the night
    Wanted to share their lashes
    They would slip around the earth
    a collar of light.

    All the eyes if the earth
    Have known the horror of night,
    Wanted to join their look
    They would slip around the earth
    A color of light
    That wars would be kept away

    All the hearts that have beat
    In the horror of closed lids,
    Have found in their misery
    In their fear in their black vertigo
    The knowledge that life
    So short so fluid so frightfully fleeting.

    Left us to rarely the time to love
    To feel the living moisture of the other.
    Left us so rarely the time to light
    In the heart, in the eyes,
    In the lips the warmth of joy
    That we had not a second to waste
    To feel the living moisture of each other.

    Springing from the anguish of the night
    The campfires,
    Born from your found flames
    The unknown eyes
    Brought back to life,
    Of fields and trees,
    Open on the trembling of the grass
    One morn.

    Look at the silence of a field
    Your selves
    With a single trust of your looks
    You will weave a basket
    Plaited with light,
    And in this nest of dancing fire
    Of eyes.
    That have known pain
    That have paid for all the sins
    Of the world.
    (These words were selected from a much longer poem that was too long to set to music.)

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