God's Grandeur

Topics: Poetry, Religion, Meter Pages: 2 (558 words) Published: April 26, 2005
Gerard Nanley Hopkins' poem "God's Grandeur", illustrates the relationship connecting man and God. Hopkins uses alliteration and stern tone to compliment the religious content of this morally ambitious poem. The poem's rhythm and flow seem to capture the same sensation of a church sermon. The diction used by Hopkins seems to indicate a condescending attitude towards society.

The first stanza states that we are "charged with the grandeur of God", or the direct quality of God's being. This statement begins to express the overall feel or idea of a lecture by stating that society will be held accountable for its actions. Hopkins exhibits his lack of faith in humanity by stating that God's quality will "flame out" on the account of mankind. He feels mankind will be "crushed" while attempting to bear this burden. He then asks why mankind is not attentive to God's right to rule. The question proposed, changes the final tone of the last stanza from judgment to curiosity.

The second stanza reinforces Hopkins' idea concerning the capability of mankind with undertaking such an enormous commission. He states that "Generations have trod, have trod, have trod" (Hopkins 880). This verbal repetition emphasizes the importance of our generations past; that we have destroyed much of the Earth. The diction used in the second and third lines of this stanza seems to illustrate a furious rant by Hopkins. He states that we are guilty of Earth's pollution and destruction and that society has grown calloused to this fact. Hopkins' diction in this stanza seems to portray a very negative mood; he does this by using words such as "bleared", "smeared", and "smudge". All of these words create a dark visual image for the reader. Hopkins states that "All is seared in trade" (Hopkins 880). This can be viewed as a possible metaphor for mankind's selfish ambition and greed. He also feels that society experiences a form of desensitization towards the devastation of the land by...
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