Grieving for Hopkins

Margaret, behind you is someone
whose heart churns slowly as decay.
Eve in “grieving” and “unleaving”
is his joke with God, whom he suffers
to accommodate like slow burn-
ing of vegetation into earth
in autumn. His presumption as
to what has caused your sadness I
shall not presume to understand;
though I must think that any child,
witness to such pageantry as
red and golden leaves and joyful
songs of harvest, would not pause to
contemplate harbingers of death.
You turn and that man turns.
Margaret, his soul is ready
for the next breeze to send it flut-
tering towards earthly fires,
where a wounded god is healing in your eyes.


Richard Katrovas
from his book Snug Harbor
Wesleyan University Press, 1986

Used with permission of the poet.

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About Richard Katrovas

Mr. Katrovas taught for twenty years at the University of New Orleans and is now a professor of English at Western Michigan University. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, Katrovas is the founding academic director of the Prague Summer Program, and is the author of six books of poetry,a book of short stories, and a novel.

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