God's Grandeur

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God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins (pg. 92)

The poem is expressive of God’s presence in the natural world even though man’s exploits have served to destroy nature and its freshness and purity. To the poet, God Grandeur is ever pervasive; revealing itself like “flame from shook foil” the world ‘flame’ is significant as it conveys the brilliance of God as the shining light the foil gives off. The poet employs the image of an electric charge, which develops into a flame or a light suggesting the power of his greatness. God’s light assumes a richness-like “the ooze of oil crushed” or passed to its finest quality. As the oil gathers strength to richness so too does God’s greatness. The image are all interwoven and expanded to express the grandeur of God. In stanza two, though man is ware of God’s greatness, he still exploits it through commerce and industrialisation, blemishing the Earth, and destroying the freshness of nature. The repetition, ‘generation have trod, have trod, have trod” conveys man’s persistence in his ruthless exploitation. The persistent repetition of the words “have trod” leading to “smeared and bleared” tells of the poet resentment and disgusted at man’s actions. “Man’s smudge” and the “smell” are expressive of a polluted and squalid environment, all due to man’s uncaring attitude. Unthinking man across cares not about he leaves, he seems not aware “nor can foot fields being shod” The natural sensation of walking barefoot is lost. The language in stanza one lines 5-8, reveals a protest against man’s ruthlessness. The poet reacts to man’s inhumanity and indignity with reasoned calmness, a protest without rage or anger for he is consoled by nature’s presence as described in stanza two. In stanza two, the poet tells that God’s presence or power through nature is renewable and invigorating in spite of man’s destructive nature. Nature is described as indestructible or inexhaustible. This can be seen in lines “for all this, nature is never...
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