Rector’s Blog: A Few Thanksgiving Poems

A few Thanksgiving poems

Blog post by Charlie Dupree

What does thanksgiving look like? Turkeys? Stuffing? Sweet potato casserole? Well, maybe.

Throughout the centuries, poets have tried to capture with words the nature of thanksgiving. The poetry below by Gerard (1844-1898 ) and Mary (1935-2019) highlights for me the observant quality of being thankful. Nothing is to be overlooked. Nothing is beyond giving praise and offering thanks. As you move into this week of family, feasting and festive folk, hit “pause” and practice being acutely observant. Notice, and give thanks to God for the ways that God is holding you and opening up life before you.


Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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;
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:
Praise [God].


Excerpt from Solace
by Mary Oliver

What did you think was happening?
The green beast of the hummingbird;
the eye of the pond;
the wet face of the lily;
the bright, puckered knee of the broken oak;
the red tulip of the fox’s mouth;
the up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve of the first snow—
so the gods shake us from our sleep.


I’m thankful for you, saints of St. Paul’s. May you be blessed, and may you be a blessing to others.

See you in church – Advent I

Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Richmond, Virginia

Preferred pronouns: he, him, his