Monday, June 4, 2012

Dappled Things

This post is an homage to variety in nature. The links below will lead you to amazing stories about wonderful oddities in nature, such as a spotless cheetah in Kenya, a white killer whale off the coast of Russia, and a strawberry-coloured leopard in South Africa. Together, they remind me of one of my favourite poems (under the links), by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Jesuit from the Victorian era in England, who, like me, loved the richness and diversity of nature.  It all makes one wonder: why are humans so conservative, so intolerant of difference, when nature teaches us that dissimilarity is the name of the game -- that it is the source of health and evolution?

          Pied Beauty
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;
  Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;          5
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.      
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:                   10
                  Praise him.

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