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 Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Pied Beauty"
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Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Pied Beauty"


Analysis of Hopkins' "Pied Beauty"

Analysis of Hopkins' "Pied Beauty"

Published in Education , Spiritual
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  • 1. THE POET
  • 2. VOCABULARY 1. dappled: spotted, speckled, pied; multicolored 2. couple-colour: two colors 3. brinded: Brindled; having a brownish yellow or gray coat with spots or streaks of a darker color 4. rose-moles: reddish spots on the skin 5. stipple: pattern of spots; a technique in painting where one uses the end of brush bristles to make dots 6. Fresh . . . falls: fallen chestnuts with shells that opened; the exposed nuts resemble glowing coals 7. Fold: a "fold" is a fenced-in area for sheep 8. Fallow: a field that has been left empty 9. tackle: equipment 10. trim: equipment. 11. Counter: opposite ( as in counter clockwise) 12. Spare: rare; not common 13. fickle: changeable 14. adazzle: glittering brightly; the opposite of dim 15. fathers-forth: creates, begets
  • 3. For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; rose-moles: Reddish spots on the skin stipple: Pattern of spots; A technique in painting using dots. trout
  • 4. chestnut Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  • 5. finch Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  • 6. Plough
  • 7. And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. tackle: equipment - trim: equipment.
  • 8. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Counter: opposite ( as in counter clockwise), unusual - Spare: rare; not common
  • 9. Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) fickle: changeable freckled: having freckles (small brown spots on someone's skin.)
  • 10. With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; adazzle: glittering brightly; the opposite of dim; dazzling
  • 11. Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
  • 12. For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  • 13. Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
  • 14. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle , freckled (who knows how?)
  • 15. With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; In this line, the poet describes three pairs of opposites: fast and slow, sweet and sour, and bright ("adazzle") and dim. The pairs are separated from each other by means of semicolons. At this point, the poet means to include every possibility as a reason for praise. All those creatures and objects have value and beauty.
  • 16. He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.
  • 17.  BEAUTY: The poem is a celebration of beauty in all its forms. Whether fickle or freckled, fragile or changeable, big as the sky or small as the wings of a small bird, all God’s creations have beauty in their own unique ways. The idea of beauty even extends to the useful tools and equipment. Everything and everybody is beautiful in its/his/her own way. The appreciation of beauty in Victorian poetry was a reaction to the spread of ugliness in English cities under the impact of relentless industrialism (another form of reaction was the aesthetic movement pioneered by Walter Pater).  DIVERSITY: The poem also celebrates diversity in God’s creation. It is an invitation for acceptance and tolerance of all that is different, odd, unfamiliar, or unconventional.
  • 18.  CHANGE: All things in this world are changeable, mutable, fragile. Change means also decay, and all the created world is subject to decay and death. Only God is beyond change.  NATURE: The poem encourages people to appreciate the beauty of nature in all its different shapes and forms, to look around them with fresh eyes, to see beauty in the simplest and most commonplace things in the natural world, and to see how all that attests to God’s greatness.  PRAISING GOD: God deserves to be thanked and praised for creating this beautiful world. This poem is an act of prayer in both its content and form.
  • 19. CURTAL SONNET Gerard Manley Hopkins called this poem a curtal sonnet, meaning a shortened or contracted sonnet. A curtal sonnet consists of eleven lines instead of the usual fourteen for the standard Shakespearean or Petrarchan sonnet. NOTE: • The rhyme scheme in the Petrarchan (Italian) sonnet is abba abba (the octave) and cde cde (the sestet). • The rhyme scheme in the Shakespearean sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg. gg • In “Pied Beauty,” it is abcabc dbed
  • 20. SOUND Rhyme scheme: ABCABC DBED Sound Devices: The poem abounds in alliteration. This is used by the poet to unify all aspects that are described in the poem despite their apparent differences. All things are linked because they are created by the same creator. • Examples: “Glory be to God ;” “couple-colour,” “Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;” “plotted and pieced;” “fold, fallow;” “spare, strange;” “fickle , freckled;” “swift, slow;” “sweet, sour;” “ fathers-forth” Consonance works to the same effect of gathering things in the poem in unified whole.
  • 21. SPRUNG RHYTHM: “Pied Beauty” is an example of Hopkins’ sprung rhythm. It is a metrical system which consists of one stressed syllable, either standing alone or followed by a varying number of unstressed syllables, ranging from one to four. Hopkins intended it to approximate common speech. / - - - / - / - - Glory be to/God for /dappled/ things— - / - - / - - - / - - For /skies of couple-/colour as a /brinded/cow;
  • 22. DICTION - Neologisms and Hyphenated words: Hopkins uses hyphens to coin new words (neologisms): couple-color rose-moles fresh-firecoal - chestnut-falls fathers-forth
  • 23. INSCAPE Inscape is a concept that Hopkins derived from the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus. everything in the universe, according to Hopkins, is characterized by a distinctive design that constitutes individual identity. In other words, inscape is those characteristics that give each thing in the world its uniqueness and, differentiating it from other things.