God's Grandeur - Literature Notes
Please note that the information given on this poem is not meant to replace any material given in the classroom setting. It is a very BASIC giude to enable a literal understanding of the poem. Metaphorical interpretations should be sought in the classroom.
The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text.
The world is 7.charged with the 8.grandeur of God.
1.It will flame out, like shining from shook foil:
1.It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. 2.Why do men then now not reck 3.his rod?
4.Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
9.And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
5.And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
is bare now, 10.nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
5.There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, 5.at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the 11.Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Hopkins, G.M 'God's Grandeur' in A World of Poetry. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.
This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others.
The poet expresses that the world is full of God's glory and greatness. This greatness, however, will burn out in a dramatic manner because (www.bulbsoup.com) of man who smears, smudges and pollutes everything without consciousness. Nature is resilient, however, and will persevere from deep in the earth and burst forth, counteracting all of man's ill.
- Line 3: This line indicates that the world will burn out in a brilliant way. Think of how shiny and reflective foil can be, that is the brilliance with which the earth will temporarily burn out.
- Line 4: Think of the manner in which oil slowly (www.bulbsoup.com) spreads across water, eventually taking over as much of the surface as possible. That is the way in which the world gathers to a greatness.
2. RHETORICAL QUESTION
The persona questions why men do not care about God's wrath. He implies that this wrath is sure because the Earth is charged, or commanded with the grandeur of God.
3. ALLUSION (biblical)
This 'rod' refers to the rod of correction that is found in the Christian Bible. See 2 Samuel 7:14. This line implies that God will punish man for being reckless with the world.
This device highlights the damage that man has done to the world. Trodding implies that one walks, or tramples, in order to crush or injure.
- Lines 10-11: This device emphasizes the impact that man has had on his environment. He has impacted every crevice of the world in some negative way, as implied by words such as 'smudge'.
- Lines 14-15: This device clarifies that the Earth is resilient, no matter what man does to harm it, it will bounce back.
- Lines 18-19: This device simply re-iterates the resilience of the Earth, we can actually visualize the sun rising.
IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES
This word implies intensity, impassioned. Therefore, the world has been gifted with intensity of the greatness of God.
This implies that something is awesome, or awe inspiring. Therefore, the world is infused with the 'greatness' of God.
9. 'And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
Everything in the world is tainted and influenced by man's presence.
10. 'nor can foot feel, being shod'
This means that man is blind to the damage that he has caused. If one is wearing shoes, it protects them from stones etc, therefore, man's consciousness is deadened by his inability to see the damage that he has caused.
11. 'Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings'
This can be interpreted to mean that the Holy Ghost is protective of the world. The word 'broods' implies that the Holy Ghost is like a mother hen protecting her hurt (www.bulbsoup.com) young chick. 'Warm breast' implies that the Holy Ghost has warm, or maternal feelings, towards the damaged world, while the phrase 'bright wings' implies hope, that all will be well in the long run.
The mood of the poem is pensive because the persona is reflecting on man's influence on the world.
The tone of the poem is one of confidence and formality.
Contributor: Leisa Samuels-Thomas