Critical Appreciation of Pied Beauty by Hopkins

"Pied Beauty" by G. H. Hopkins was composed in 1877. In the same year, Hopkins was ordained as a Jesuit priest. G. H. Hopkins is regarded as one of the great innovators of English Poetry. He introduced "sprung rhythm" to English poetry.

pied beauty analysis essay

Summary of the poem :

In the opening line of the poem, the speaker says that we should glorify God because God has given us several colorful and different things. The poet uses the term "dappled thing" which may be understood as checkered, freckled, spotted, or speckled things. The speaker goes on and presents examples. He says that we should phase God because God has given two colors to the skies, like a two-colored cow. Similarly, God has given reddish dots on the side of a rout. he said that it looks red like the fallen chestnuts look like red coals in a fire. The speaker mentions the blended colors of the wings of a finch, a kind of bird. He says that the land has been divided into plots by humans. The humans are involved in different jobs. It can be said that a speaker thinks he should praise God for everything odd or unique provided by him. He said that all these things have been fathered by a God who never changes. In the final line of the poem, the speaker again tells the listeners to praise God.

Form of the poem :

Hopkins was known for experimenting with the poetic meter and rhyme. "Pied Beauty" is his 'curtal' sonnet. He has reduced the eight lines of the traditional sonnet to six lines and then reduced the six lines of the sestet to four and a half. The words tackle, freckled, dazzle, or stipple are the perfect examples of musical repetition. The poem is quite coherent and highly striking.

Text of the Poem :

Glory be to God for dappled things —
  For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-fire-coal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle, and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                Praise him.

Critical analysis :

"Pied Beauty" is a kind of ritual observance of nature and the creations around us in the world. The poem begins with a call to praise God. The same is there in the last line of the poem. The poem begins with God's creations and then moves to praise His creations. Final via tracing the creations back the poem ends with a final liner affirmation of God. "Pied Beauty" can also be called a hymn creation. It praises God by the praising the word that the God has created. The poet seems to be justifying the presence of God through the admiration of his creation. He admires God's creative power. The poem very eloquently presents the theological position that great variety in the natural world is a testimony to the perfect unity of God and the infinitude of his creative power.

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