Binsey Poplars
'All felled, felled, are all felled' -- photograph of felled poplar trees with a line from the poem 'Binsey Poplars'.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, author of 'Binsey Poplars'.

'Binsey Poplars' is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), written in 1879.[1][2] The poem was inspired by the felling of a row of poplar trees near the village of Binsey, northwest of Oxford, England, and overlooking Port Meadow on the bank of the River Thames.[3] The replacements for these trees, running from Binsey north to Godstow, lasted until 2004, when replanting began again.[4]

The Bodleian Library of Oxford University holds a draft manuscript of the poem, handwritten by Hopkins, acquired in 2013.[5]

The poem

The text of the poem is as follows:[6][7]

My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
All felled, felled, are all felled;
    Of a fresh and following folded rank
            Not spared, not one
            That dandled a sandalled
            Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank.
 
O if we but knew what we do
            When we delve or hew--
    Hack and rack the growing green!
            Since country is so tender
    To touch, her being so slender,
    That, like this sleek and seeing ball
    But a prick will make no eye at all,
            Where we, even where we mean
            To mend her we end her,
            When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
    Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
            Strokes of havoc unselve
            The sweet especial scene,
            Rural scene, a rural scene,
            Sweet especial rural scene.

See also

References

  1. ^ "19, Binsey Poplars". Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89): Poems. Bartleby.com. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2014. 
  2. ^ ""Binsey Poplars" (1879)". Hopkins's Poetry. SparkNotes. Retrieved 2014. 
  3. ^ Thornton, Jim (12 December 2002). "The Binsey Poplars". iGreens.org.uk. Retrieved 2014. 
  4. ^ Hatts, Leight (2005). The Thames Path. Cicerone Press. ISBN 978-1-85284-436-3. 
  5. ^ "Bodleian acquires manuscript of Hopkins poem 'Binsey Poplars'". Bodleian Library, Oxford University. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2014. 
  6. ^ "Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins". Poem. Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2014. 
  7. ^ "Binsey Poplars". poemhunter.com. Retrieved 2014. 

External links



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