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Hopkins and Hitchens


The Chaffinch
The 1988-91 survey estimated there were seven million breeding pairs of chaffinches in Britain.

Glory be to God for dappled things —
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings. . .

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Pied Beauty, Gerard Manley Hopkins

I was reminded of the poem by Michael Novak. He reviews British-born journalist Christopher Hitchens's latest book. Alas, the often splendid Hitchens disagrees with Hopkins.