Nineteenth-century English poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins is admired for the highly original use of rhythm in his poetry, a quality that can be seen in the following poems, “The Windhover,” “Pied Beauty,” and “Hurrahing in Harvest.” A windhover, also known as a kestrel, is a small type of falcon. These three poems express Hopkins’s devotion to the Catholic faith, as well as his fascination with the natural world. Like most of Hopkins’s poetry, the poems were first published in 1918, nearly 20 years after his death. In a note on the religious life of Hopkins (1840-1889) Humphrey House expresses the view that Hopkins was not a mystic and that there is nothing in the poem of Hopkins to show that he feels the immediate and personal presence of God. It is impossible to agree with Humphrey House in this matter, because reverse seems to be the case. Hopkins was by nature a deeply religious man; he was an ardent believer in God and in the divinity of Christ. What is more, he saw God everywhere and specially in the objects of nature. Every where in his poetry we find him expressing a fervent belief in God and Christ and invoking the deity; “Thou mastering me
God! Giver of breath and bread;
World’s strand, sway of the sea;
Lord of living and dead”;
Hopkins being a keenly sensuous poet and a Roman Catholic priest at the same time his poetry bears the unmistakable stamp of his poetic sensibility and devotional fervour. The poet and the priest in Hopkins are often in conflict and generate a lot of tensions. There are only a few poems in which the contradiction seems to be resolved and the poet and the priest are in harmony. Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty” is one of such poems.
“Pied Beauty” points to poet’s power of sensuous appreciation of the beauty of the things around, his poetic concentration, compassion and above all, his unquestioning faith in God.
All nature is good;...