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Essay on the Power Hopkins' Sonnet, God's Grandeur

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Essay on the Power Hopkins' Sonnet, God's Grandeur


As "the world is charged with the grandeur of God," so Gerard Manley Hopkins' sonnet, "God's Grandeur," is charged with language, imagery, sounds and metric patterns that express that grandeur. Through its powerful use of the elements of poetry, the poem explores the power of God and the wonder of nature.

"God's Grandeur" is a lyric poem. The tone of the poem is one, naturally, of grandeur, as well as power and wonder. Hopkins' choices of words add to the feeling of grandeur that is the subject of the poem through their powerful imagery, and they express wonder at the power and grandeur of God and the continuity of nature. Words such as "grandeur" and "flame out" show the power with which God is revealed in His creation, while "seared," "bleared," "smeared," "smudge," and "smell" add to the sense of man's inability to recognize God's grandeur and our tendency to destroy it. In the last line of the poem, "warm breast" and "bright wings" give a sense of hope for the world, in the warmth and light of the Holy Ghost, daily renewing the world with the morning.

Several key metaphors are used in the poem. The first is the me...


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...em.

The theme of the poems involves, according to title, God's grandeur, and his power as it is revealed in creation. It also involves the "searing" effect of generations of civilization that have trod the earth. Finally, it involves the "dearest freshness deep down things" of nature and the regenerative power of God to repair the damage of civilization.

Through his use of the elements of poetry and powerful imagery, Hopkins expresses his theme in a remarkable way. "God's Grandeur" is a powerful, expressive poem, a wonderful example of the uses of metaphor, imagery, and alliteration.


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