Nothing is so beautiful as Spring ——
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
So Gerard Manley Hopkins might technically be considered a late Victorian poet, but formally he was so innovative that Ramazani, editor of (the amazing) Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry included him as a Modernist. I’d definitely agree, especially since his sprung rhythm, alliteration, and rhyming is more similar to rap lyrics than poetry. It’s like Rakim said on his track “Follow the Leader:”
RAP is Rhythm And Poetry, cuts create sound effects /
You might catch up if you follow the records he wrecks /
Until then keep eating and swallowing /
You better take a deep breath and keep following– the leader. /
Rakim was just following Hopkins’ tradition, and so are all the rappers (nearly every contemporary rapper) who followed him.