God's Gandeur

Topics: Poetry, Sonnet, Gerard Manley Hopkins Pages: 3 (1035 words) Published: February 26, 2013
‘God’s Grandeur’
‘God’s Grandeur’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins is an Italian sonnet written in 1877. I feel that this poem conveys an important meaning about how God will never turn his back on mankind, even when they have given up on him. This message is particularly relevant because of what was happening in the world at the time it was being written- technology was advancing and people were beginning to doubt God. An Italian sonnet consists of two verses, the first of which being an octave which is made up of eight lines with a rhyme scheme of ‘ABBA ABBA’. The poem begins on a powerful note and by saying “The world is charged by the grandeur of God.” This is symbolic of the discovery of electricity in previous years as “charged” relates to the charge of electricity. The word “grandeur” creates an image of great riches and opulence which could also be linked to the discovery of electricity and the riches that it could bring to people. However, this could be seen as a bad thing if people misuse it and become greedy. I think these technological advancements are what lead people to question God, and then went on to destroy life as it was once known. This first line creates to tone of the poem which is one of sorrow and despair; it also helps to convey the importance of God’s relationship with us. Another example of the technological advancements in relation to God’s power comes in the second and third lines: “It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; it gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil.” The word “flame” symbolizes how God cannot be contained, connotations of this are thunder and lightning, which again represents electricity. It could also be linked to violence, like an overwhelming fire, which is representative of God’s power. A simile is used here to emphasize how something which looks pleasant, like “shining” can still be dangerous, which again is represented by the world “flame”. This links to God as it shows that he is behind these changes...
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