Here's a virtual movie of the great Gerard Manley Hopkins reading his exquisitely poetically inventive ode to the aeronautical grace of Common Kestrel a bird of the Falcon type."The Windhover" is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844--1889). It was written on May 30, 1877, but not published until 1918, when it was included as part of the collection Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins dedicated the poem "to Christ our Lord".
"Windhover" is another name for the Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). The name refers to the bird's ability to hover in midair while hunting prey. In the poem, the narrator admires the bird as it hovers in the air, suggesting that it controls the wind as a man may control a horse. The bird then suddenly swoops downwards and "[rebuffs] the big wind". The bird can be viewed as a metaphor for Christ or of divine epiphany.
Hopkins called "The Windhover" "the best thing [he] ever wrote". It commonly appears in anthologies and has lent itself to many interpretations.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (28 July 1844 -- 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012
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