Evaluation And Interpretation Of God’s Grandeur By Gerard Hopkins

Categories: God

While reading God’s Grandeur, by Gerard Hopkins, I felt an immediate energy. Even in the lines when Hopkins explains all the wrong man has done to the Earth, there was still a sense of something larger, or a general hopefulness in his diction. He purposely uses words like flame and shining to install not only a positive feeling for the readers but also a sense of great power. This helps to set the tone for the poem and is partially why it is so powerful.

In the second part of the first three lines the tone shifts to a very pessimistic and judgmental tone, and Hopkins wording emphasizes this. Despite this, it makes the ending even more hopeful, as the sudden shift back to the style of the first three lines. It made the grandeur and beauty feel earned, and it created a sense of hope and endurance. Despite the energy of the poem however, there is an underlying dark connotation of death.

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Hopkins alludes to this through his talk of Armageddon and death.

God’s grandeur is literally about the power of God and his relation to nature. He also talks about how man has tried to destroy the earth through the increased consumerism and industrialism of modern society. Despite this, he sends a message of endurance, by also saying that despite man’s efforts to destroy the earth, it still thrives, and will always thrive, through the grandeur of God. The message is a very religious one, as Hopkins was a very religious man.

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Hopkins also warns many times of Armageddon, The phrase, “Reck his rod” literally means to fear the punishment of God. He warns about industrialism and consumerism, and talks about how those things have made us blind to the end. He also warns about how Industrialism and consumerism has made us blind to the beauty in God and nature, and tries to tell the reader that although these things are important in modern society, we must be wary that our time on this Earth is limited. Despite the fact that we may be busy or have important things to do, the earth will outlive us in the end.

God’s Grandeur is written in Petrarchan sonnet, which is: “A sonnet form popularized by Petrarch, consisting of octave with the rhythm scheme abbaabba and of a sestet with one of several rhyme schemes, as cdecde or cdcdcd”. He also follows the traditional form of a Petrarchan Sonnet, where in the first octave, there is a problem introduced, which is resolved in the sestet. Hopkins also breaks metre in some phrases, in order to emphasize an idea or word. He also uses tools such as enjambment to create stops in the flow of the poem and uses them to interrupt the reader. Hopkins does this when talking about the destructive nature of people, and uses it to emphasize words such as crushed and bare. This is a contrast to when he uses alliteration in the passages about God. The alliteration helps emphasize the flowing and beautiful nature of God, while the enjambment is used to highlight man’s attempts to destroy it.

God’s Grandeur is without a doubt written with extreme pertinence and care. Every small detail in the poem seems intentional, and it is written with a lot of passion. Throughout the poem, Hopkins uses alliteration and enjambment to put emphasis on the meaning of word, and especially to help with the shift in the poem. He also uses metre in this way, as it does not keep a steady rhythm throughout, and strays from the rhythm when he wants the reader to slow down and really take the message of his poem in. He also uses clever word choice to instill a sense of excitement or power into the reader. Through this poem, he not only wanted to show people the great power of God, but also the beauty of God. He does this through connecting the idea of God to nature, “Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs, Because the Holy Ghost over the bent” (Hopkins). Hopkins wrote this poem after he had just become a priest, and would have been frustrated with the increased secularism of society through ideas such as Darwinism and humanism. Therefore, he may have also written this poem to remind people of God, and the beauty of religion. It could also be a metaphor for the Church in general, and how despite people’s efforts to destroy it, it still remains and thrives.

Updated: Feb 27, 2024
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Evaluation And Interpretation Of God’s Grandeur By Gerard Hopkins. (2024, Feb 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/evaluation-and-interpretation-of-god-s-grandeur-by-gerard-hopkins-essay

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