Adrienne Rich’s “Diving Into the Wreck” and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “the Windhover” Formalistic Comparison

Topics: Poetry, Meter, Gerard Manley Hopkins Pages: 2 (678 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Adrienne Rich’s “Diving into the Wreck” and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “The Windhover” both includes format, rhythm, and sound. Each element is major part, yet they are used differently between the two poems. In Adrienne Rich’s "Diving into the Wreck", the format coordinates directly with the meaning of the poem. During this lyric free verse, the action of descending takes place. I had noticed that the amount of lines per stanza had gotten shorter while the poem progressed, as if the poem was also descending. The first stanza had 12 lines, while the only other stanza that met up to the same amount of lines was the very last. His descriptions of the water and the ocean underneath gave off an essence of being very free, which I think was why he chose to do a lyric free verse poem. In this format, the poet doesn’t have to always follow the exact pattern to be correct. Yet, the opposite of this was Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “The Windhover”, which is a sonnet. Since it is talking about a bird that is free in the wind, the poem has to do more with ascending. It does not have a consistent meter, however, the rhythm is that of the flight of a bird. The lines were also very scattered, which contributed to the thought of flying free in the wind. I think that Manley chose the sonnet as his format because it can help expose the lack of restrictions if the rules of the type of poem are broken. Since the sonnet is supposed to follow an iambic pentameter rhythm, and contain a clear switch between unstressed and stressed syllables, not doing so makes this point and meaning clearer.

In Gerard Manley Hopkins’ sonnet “The Windhover”, the rhythm is an immense contributor to revealing the thematic elements. Since it is talking about how free the bird is, the unpredictable beat and rhythm the poem falls into, suggests this. Although it does not have a consistent meter, is it is still considered a sonnet because of such elements as the 14 lines. Another thing I noticed about...
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