Gerard Manley Hopkins- God’s Grandeur

          sprung rhythm: natural rhythm of speech when charged with emotion

          his sonnets: as living art should be, made for performance, and that its performance is not reading with the eye, but with loud, leisurely, poetical (not rhetorical) recitation, with long rests, long dwells on the rhyme and other marked syllables…sonnet should be almost sung

          blends erotic and religion (scandalous!)

          alliteration: repetition of consonants “gathers to a greatness”

          assonance: repetition of vowel sounds “the ooze of oil”

          onomatopoeia: words in which the sound echoes the thing described “achoo, husha”

          inscape: the design which is unique to a thins; the informing intrinsic pattern by which it realizes its “self-hood”

          instress: the energy by which things are inscaped; it includes the human being’s apprehension of enscape as a result of intense energy of perception directs at it



o   foil: early, brief detection of God; isn’t easily seen

o   oil: moves around when pushed; energy of God is never spent; always asserts itself

§  value of olives is greater when made into oil; extracted by bare feet

o   crushed into initial position: emphasizes action by singling it out

o   charge: electrical current OR responsibility

o   colour imagery

o   final image

          repetition of “trod”: monotony, repeated, dull existence

o   emphasizes mechanical existence of human beings

          shift to second verse

o   nature isn’t used up, optimistic attitude

          condense things

          looks at sunset as loss of light (Dover Beach)

o   pollution: growing blackness

          sunrise brings hope

          Holy Ghost: God in image of dove, nurturing the world

          humans bent over in their oppression enables nurturing

o   feminine image

o   brooding/ protecting her chicks

          OH! = anticipation…AH! = relief

          queer reading: the concept of godhead in the poem is androgynous, on one side God with his powerful “rod” and on the other side the brooding Holy ghost

o   the imagery of masculine vital force in landscape connotes unexpended seminal fluid

o   the poem celebrates chastity at the same time that it celebrate male identified and homo-erotic desire

o   Hopkins himself gave his life to God to suppress his inappropriate desires

o   swimming with boys: frolic, lavish, taking his boot off

o   rod = phallic

o   smudge & smell: sexual activities

o   spent = orgasmic

          not separate readings; emotions folded into each other

          charge to maintain world, natural beauty, they’ve ignore it and God’s presence can’t be easily seen

o   allows for deviant behaviour

          Hopkins conserving his “energies in name of God and expressing it as religious poem


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