Line-by-line Analysis of ‘Pied Beauty’ by Gerard Manly Hopkins

Pied Beauty by Gerard Manly Hopkins

1) The poem is a celebration of colours in nature. Hopkins opens the poem like a prayer by praising and glorifying God for things of different colours in the environment. The title suggests a celebration of colour and Hopkins has achieved this through the use of unusual synonyms for colour such as pied, dappled, couple colour and freckled.

2) He uses a simile to compare the different colours that the sky flaunts through the course of the day, to the different shades that he observes on the hide of the cattle grazing in the meadow.

3) Hopkins discloses how minutely he observes nature by commenting on the beauty of the light pink or rose-coloured spots that can be seen on the trout.

4) With the use of a metaphor he compares a chestnut falling to a live fire coal. Hopkins also comments on the variation in colours and the beauty of the small finch.

5) In the 5th line, Hopkins shifts his attention from the elements and the creatures he observers in nature, to the landscape developed by man and the variations in colour that can be observed even through human activity. He talks about the different hues that he observes on open landscape that is plotted, barren or agrarian land.

6) The poet observers colour and diversity even in the equipment and things used by man for routine trade. He talks about gear used and things that man usually associates with business and transactions.

7) From this line ,Hopkins refers to variation in opposites through the use of oxymoron. He talks about colours and patterns observed in everything around him, natural or synthetic, and available in abundance and scarcity.

8) Using rhetoric, Hopkins invites the reader to think about the colours and patterns in nature and wonder about the creator.

9) He uses opposites here by listing 'swift, slow, sweet, sour, adazzled, dim'.

10) Hopkins appreciates the variety in nature and refers to God as the 'father' metaphorically. He credits God with the creation around him and also highlights that while everything God creates varies, he himself does not change.

11) Hopkins praises God and ends the poem like a prayer.

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