Gerald Manley Hopkins` `The Windhover` Essay
Gerald Manley Hopkins` `The Windhover`
- Explain: “he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing.”
The word “rung” used here is an old technical term meaning in this case to rise spirally in flight. The falcon Hopkins describes here circles the air upon the “rein of a wimpling wing.” His flight is reined like a knight would rein his horse. The wing does the reining, and its feathers wimple, or fold, to produce the graceful spiral in flight. Hopkins’ falcon as described in this poem is at the height of his glory and grace. I can see it as being a traditional Medieval image of Christ as a knight on horseback. The falcon is the Christ performing beautiful and miraculous actions while challenging the writer to follow him to these heroic heights
- Why is your “heart in hiding”?
The falcon or Christ stirs his heart that was in hiding. Christ awakened his heart and brought his heart back to the light from which it was hid. I see the “heart in hiding” meaning the poet knows that his heart is not fully committed to God/Christ so therefore it is not fully committed to the purpose of spiritual striving even though he seems to acknowledge that when a person’s entire being is brought into accordance with God’s will they will be at the best place they can be, he knows even he himself isn’t there yet. He acknowledges that something glorious happens to those who relinquish themselves for a higher striving and he draws inspiration from the falcon who is already at that point he hasn’t allowed himself to be at, yet.
- What is the connection between the `blue-bleak embers` of a fire and a plough (plow)?
The blue-bleak embers gash, fall and break apart and let out a gold glow when they fall or crack open—radiates in destruction before death, like the heart becomes radiant in sacrifice and death. The soil reveals its beauty also when that wound is ripped into by the plow. It can be seen as the striving to serve God brings out one’s inner glow just as for example, by using a plow one is actually polishing it as it is serving its finest purpose, the purpose it is made for. Simply by doing the work it, the plow and we, the creation was put here to do, causes us to shine. The poet is telling us there is a luminous core to every single individual which when living a life close to God/Christ it is seen or exposed.
- Why does Hopkins compare the Falcon to a skate, bows bend, and a plow? How are these metaphors for Christ?
The ice skater and the falcon glide atop their support and control it in a supreme, artistic fashion. Because the poet uses the word, “dauphin,” the falcon is the ruler of the day or dawn. The falcon serves as an image of Christ. To me, I feel the metaphors for Christ are apparent when one thinks of all the grace and effortless majesty displayed by the falcon and the skater, how much greater is the reward of one moment’s communion with God.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 March 2017
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