Grandeur vs. Blandeur

I enjoy reading these two poems side by side.

____

PIED BEAUTY

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

____

BLANDEUR

by Kay Ryan

If it please God,
let less happen.
Even out Earth’s
rondure, flatten
Eiger, blanden
the Grand Canyon.
Make valleys
slightly higher,
widen fissures
to arable land,
remand your
terrible glaciers
and silence
their calving,
halving or doubling
all geographical features
toward the mean.
Unlean against our hearts.
Withdraw your grandeur
from these parts.

____

One might think of posting Hopkins’ God’s Grandeur here instead, but I think Pied Beauty captures the excessive, clamoring, colorful variety of the world that Hopkins so adored, and Ryan so wants to quiet down (or so she would like us to believe).
By the way, I haven’t figured out how to get the blog editor to indent lines. I don’t think it will do it. If you want to see the poem as Hopkins indented it, go here.

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