Poetry Discussion

God’s Grandeur is a sonnet written by General M. Hopkins with a characteristic style, marked by reflection between nature and human beings. Given this, one can perceive a paradoxical relationship between the author’s exuberant presentation of nature and, in contrast, the terror that man causes in the natural work of God. In this sense, it is known that the use of alliteration has the function of establishing similar phonemes during the structuring of certain poems.When evaluating God’s Grandeur, it is impossible not to notice the use of this linguistic tool, for example in the sentence line 5 “It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil”, where there is an increase in expressiveness, so that the author emphasizes the importance of the content, but at the same time structures the text so that it is. In this way, one has that the “G” for God and the “G” for grandeur, already denote this feature in the title of the poem. In, the alliterations formed also appear in the letter “G” (It gathers to a greatness), and this is not unique to this verse, for “ooze of oil” shares the same linguistic feature as the previous example (Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Poetry Foundation, 1985)

Moreover, the use of contrasts, despite the phonemes tending to homogeneity, the author denotes a critical view when he analyzes the interaction of man and nature, so that he presents nature as God’s creation, and because of this, man’s disrespect before God. In this sense, the author tries to hold the reader’s attention with this feature, so that the use of this linguistic technique tries, in addition to highlighting, to create a rhythm, something often used to keep the presented content in memory more easily(Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Poetry Foundation, 1985) (Roy, 2021).

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The text is based on a rigid construction, but with the linguistic tactics Hopkins has used, it is easier to follow up on what has been read, making the text coherent. In this way, the reader is more likely to understand the main message of this poem, and its verses are easier to memorize, which may imply the inoculation of the author’s thoughts in the reader’s memory. Furthermore, it is worth saying that, possibly, it has repercussions in the deeper analysis of the relationship of the human being with the environment in which he is inserted, besides the direct link with the divine figure from the natural (Barber, 2018; Hopkins, 1918; Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Poetry Foundation, 1985)

In this way, the author presents a possibility of stimulating critical thinking concerning the atrocities that human beings have caused on Earth. Knowing this, it is interesting to mention that in the verses line 1 “the world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil” there is a clear contradiction of interests, between the exacerbated extraction of resources and the reaction that this situation can generate, so that the environment, previously exuberant, assumes a state of confrontation with the people who caused this tragic scenario (Barber, 2018; Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Poetry Foundation, 1985).


Barber, T. (2018). Fall 2018. Civil War Book Review20(4). https://doi.org/10.31390/cwbr.20.4.01

Hopkins, G. M. (1918). UNIT 19 GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS. In The Great Victorian Poets (pp. 56–72).

Roy, S. B. (2021). From Sicily with Love : Does the Sonnet make you an offer you can ’ t refuse ?VI(ii), 171–180.

Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Poetry Foundation. (1985). https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44395/g