Advent in the Air
This is but an excerpt from the Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem entitled, “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air We Breathe”, found on the Education for Justice website.
WILD air, world-mothering air,Nestling me everywhere,That each eyelash or hairGirdles; goes home betwixtThe fleeciest, frailest-flixedSnowflake; that ’s fairly mixedWith, riddles, and is rifeIn every least thing’s life;This needful, never spent,And nursing element;My more than meat and drink,My meal at every wink;This air, which, by life’s law,My lung must draw and drawNow but to breathe its praise,Minds me in many waysOf her who not onlyGave God’s infinityDwindled to infancyWelcome in womb and breast,Birth, milk, and all the restBut mothers each new graceThat does now reach our race—Mary Immaculate,Merely a woman, yetWhose presence, power isGreat as no goddess’sWas deemèd, dreamèd; whoThis one work has to do—Let all God’s glory through,God’s glory which would goThrough her and from her flow
Off, and no way but soSource:Poems, by Gerard Manley Hopkins. London: Oxford University Press, 1956.