Grandeur and Blandeur

grandeur and blander

Sometimes we long for a glimpse of God’s grandeur - and sometimes that magnificence is overwhelming.  Here are two poems on those respective moments, one for each pocket:

God’s Grandeur
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


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.