One autumn day, after fishing in the Elwy River, Gerard Manley Hopkins walked home past the gathered sheaves (stooks, as he called them) beneath a sky of high, shifting clouds. The experience engendered “half an hour of extreme enthusiasm” that found expression in a sonnet called “Hurrahing in Harvest.” I love the first stanza:
Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?