Analysis of Hopkin's Poem "God's Grandeur"

Topics: Rhyme, Poetry, Gerard Manley Hopkins Pages: 4 (1484 words) Published: May 1, 2006
Gerard Hopkins wrote God's Grandeur in 1877 right around the time he was ordained as a priest. The poem deals with his feelings about God's presence and power in the world. He could not understand how the people inhabiting the earth could refuse or be distracted from God. This confusion was due to the greatness of God's power and overall existence that, to Hopkins, seemed impossible and sinful to ignore. However, as the poem progresses Hopkins expresses hope in the world and God's everlasting presence in it. This poem has much meaning to it and expresses the thoughts and feelings that Hopkins was having at the time he wrote it. When one first reads God's Grandeur it is hard to fully understand what Hopkins was trying to convey. One must first look into the life of the author himself to begin to grasp what the words of the poem indirectly mean.

Hopkins was born on July twenty-eighth 1844 as one of nine children in Stratford, Essex. He was born into a flourishing Europe that was growing rapidly industrially. Both of his parents were very much involved in the Catholic Church, and his father had published a volume of poetry a year before his birth. As one can determine from this, much of his influence came from his parents. Hopkins began writing poetry in grammar school during which he won a poetry prize. This prize gave him a scholarship to Balliol College in Oxford, where he earned two degrees and was considered by his professors and peers to be the star of Balliol. Throughout his life he was very connected to his religion. So much that in 1868, after joining the Society of Jesus, he burned all of his work because he felt that it conflicted with Jesuit principles. It was not until 1872 that he began to write poetry again. It was then in 1877 he was ordained as a Jesuit priest and wrote some of his best and most well-known work, including God's Grandeur (Everett 1).

When analyzing and determining what Hopkins was trying to convey through this poem, one must...

Cited: Everett, Glenn. "Gerard Manley Hopkins: a Brief Biography." The Victorian Web. 1988. National University of Singapore. 1 Apr. 2006 .
Hopkins, Gerard. "God 's Grandeur." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin 's, 2005. 876-876.
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