'Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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The dappled die-away
Cheek and wimpled lip,
The gold-wisp, the airy-grey
Eye, all in fellowship—
This, all this beauty blooming,
This, all this freshness fuming,
Give God while worth consuming.
Both thought and thew now bolder
And told by Nature: Tower;
Head, heart, hand, heel, and shoulder
That beat and breathe in power—
This pride of prime's enjoyment
Take as for tool, not toy meant
And hold at Christ's employment.
The vault and scope and schooling
And mastery in the mind,
In silk-ash kept from cooling,
And ripest under rind—
What life half lifts the latch of,
What hell stalks towards the snatch of,
Your offering, with despatch, of!
Editor 1 Interpretation
Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice by Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Deeper Interpretation
Gerard Manley Hopkins is a name synonymous with poetic excellence. Born in 1844, Hopkins hailed from England and was a Jesuit priest. His poem "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a beautiful and evocative piece that explores the themes of sacrifice, love, and devotion.
In this literary criticism, we'll explore the nuances of Hopkins' poem and delve into its meaning, imagery, and language.
"Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" was published by Hopkins in 1918. It was one of his posthumous works, and it's thought that the poem was written in the late 1870s or early 1880s. The poem is structured into three parts, each representing a different time of day: morning, midday, and evening.
The poem's title is borrowed from the Old Testament book of Daniel, where it describes the three times of day at which the ancient Israelites offered sacrifices. In Hopkins' poem, these sacrifices are replaced by a selfless and constant devotion to God.
The central theme of "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is devotion. The poem is a beautiful ode to the idea of a constant and selfless devotion to God. Hopkins explores the different ways in which we can devote ourselves to God throughout the day and emphasizes the importance of consistency in our devotion.
The first stanza of the poem describes the morning sacrifice, where the speaker asks God to "shut round" his heart with divine love. The use of the word "shut" emphasizes the idea of devotion as a means of protection, where we seek refuge in God's love.
The imagery used in this stanza is pastoral and idyllic. Hopkins describes the "dewfall" and "morning's wings" as they "spread/ And stir" in the quiet of the morning. The use of these images evokes a sense of peace and tranquility, which is further emphasized by the speaker's prayer for God to "quicken" his senses.
The second stanza of the poem describes the midday sacrifice, where the speaker asks God to "tune and string" his heart. This stanza explores the idea of devotion as a form of harmony and balance. The speaker asks God to bring his heart into alignment with His will, so that he can "move" and "speak" in unity with God.
The imagery used in this stanza is musical and rhythmic. Hopkins uses words like "tune," "string," "harmonize," and "rhythm" to create a sense of musicality in the poem. This imagery emphasizes the importance of balance and harmony in our devotion to God.
The final stanza of the poem describes the evening sacrifice, where the speaker asks God to "fold" his heart in divine love. This stanza explores the idea of devotion as a form of rest and peace. The speaker asks God to "still" his heart so that it may rest in divine love.
The imagery used in this stanza is spiritual and mystical. Hopkins uses words like "spirit," "heaven," and "light" to create a sense of transcendence in the poem. This imagery emphasizes the idea of devotion as a means of transcending the physical world and finding rest in the spiritual.
Hopkins' use of language in "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is rich and evocative. He uses a mixture of pastoral, musical, and mystical imagery to create a sense of harmony and balance in the poem.
Hopkins also uses a lot of alliteration and assonance to create a sense of musicality in the poem. For example, in the first stanza, he uses the phrase "morning's wings" and in the second stanza, he uses the phrase "tune and string." These phrases create a sense of rhythm and musicality in the poem.
"Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a beautiful and evocative poem that explores the themes of sacrifice, love, and devotion. Hopkins uses a mixture of pastoral, musical, and mystical imagery to create a sense of harmony and balance in the poem.
The central theme of devotion is explored through the three stanzas, each representing a different time of day. Hopkins emphasizes the importance of consistency in our devotion and the need for balance and harmony in our relationship with God.
Overall, "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a beautiful and inspiring poem that encourages us to seek a deeper relationship with God through constant and selfless devotion.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian era, and his poem "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a masterpiece that showcases his unique style and poetic vision. This poem is a religious meditation that explores the themes of sacrifice, devotion, and the beauty of nature. In this analysis, we will delve into the meaning and significance of this poem, and explore the techniques and devices that Hopkins uses to convey his message.
The poem is structured in three parts, each corresponding to a different time of day: morning, midday, and evening. Each section begins with a description of the natural world, followed by a meditation on the spiritual significance of that moment. The poem opens with the lines:
"The morning shines like silver, like a casket Full of jewels, or a bride's gift to her bridegroom, But the midday sun is like an open furnace, And the evening is like a golden cup."
These lines set the tone for the rest of the poem, and establish the contrast between the different times of day. The morning is described as a time of beauty and purity, while the midday is associated with heat and intensity, and the evening is a time of warmth and richness.
Hopkins uses a variety of poetic devices to convey his message, including alliteration, repetition, and imagery. For example, in the first stanza, he uses alliteration to create a sense of rhythm and musicality:
"The morning shines like silver, like a casket Full of jewels, or a bride's gift to her bridegroom"
The repetition of the "s" sound in "shines like silver" and "bride's gift to her bridegroom" creates a sense of harmony and unity, and reinforces the idea of the morning as a time of beauty and purity.
Throughout the poem, Hopkins uses vivid imagery to describe the natural world, and to explore the spiritual significance of that world. For example, in the second stanza, he describes the midday sun as "an open furnace," which suggests both the intensity of the heat and the idea of purification through fire. This image is reinforced by the repetition of the word "burn" in the following lines:
"Burn, O burn, but consume not The altar, the sacrifice, the offering."
Here, Hopkins is using the image of fire to represent the idea of sacrifice, and to suggest that the act of devotion requires a willingness to be consumed by that fire.
The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful, as it brings together the themes of sacrifice and devotion in a powerful meditation on the beauty of the evening:
"The evening is like a golden cup, Full of the wine of the world's delight, But the cup is drained, and the wine is spilt, And the sacrifice is made."
Here, Hopkins is using the image of the golden cup to represent the beauty and richness of the world, and the wine as a symbol of the pleasures and joys of life. However, he also suggests that these pleasures are fleeting, and that the true sacrifice lies in giving them up in order to devote oneself to a higher purpose.
Overall, "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a powerful meditation on the themes of sacrifice, devotion, and the beauty of nature. Hopkins uses a variety of poetic devices to convey his message, including alliteration, repetition, and vivid imagery. The poem is structured in three parts, each corresponding to a different time of day, and each exploring a different aspect of the spiritual life. Through his words, Hopkins invites us to contemplate the beauty of the natural world, and to consider the sacrifices that are required in order to live a life of devotion and purpose.
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