'Hurrahing In Harvest' by Gerard Manley Hopkins


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Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
And, yes, hert, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love's greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!—
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Hurrahing In Harvest: A Celebration of Nature's Bounty

Gerard Manley Hopkins is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Victorian era. His unique style, which he called "sprung rhythm," and his passionate engagement with nature and spirituality have earned him a place in the canon of English literature. In his poem "Hurrahing In Harvest," Hopkins celebrates the bountiful harvest season and explores the themes of gratitude, abundance, and joy. Through his vivid imagery and exuberant language, he invites the reader to join him in a lively celebration of nature's generosity.

Structure and Form

The poem consists of four stanzas of varying length, each with its own rhyme scheme. The first stanza is nine lines long and has a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDE. The second stanza is ten lines long and has a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDED. The third stanza is eight lines long and has a rhyme scheme of ABABCCDD. The fourth and final stanza is twelve lines long and has a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEF.

The use of varying stanza lengths and rhyme schemes creates a sense of movement and energy, reflecting the joyful spirit of the poem. The lines are also arranged in a zigzag pattern, with the first and third lines of each stanza indented, giving the poem a visual rhythm that mirrors its aural rhythm. This visual effect enhances the sense of motion and excitement, as if the lines are dancing across the page.

Language and Imagery

Hopkins' language is rich and vivid, evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of the harvest season. He uses a variety of poetic devices to create a sense of abundance and vitality. One of the most striking features of the poem is its use of repetition, particularly in the refrain of "Hurrahing in harvest." This refrain echoes the joyful shouts of the harvesters and reinforces the celebratory tone of the poem.

The imagery in the poem is also vibrant and evocative. Hopkins describes the "goldsheaves" of wheat and barley, the "rind" of apples, and the "sweet cider" that flows freely. He paints a picture of a world overflowing with abundance and plenty, where even the air is thick with the scent of ripe fruit and grain. This imagery reinforces the theme of gratitude and invites the reader to share in the joy of the harvest.

Themes and Interpretation

At its core, "Hurrahing In Harvest" is a celebration of nature's bounty and the joy that comes from abundance. Hopkins invites the reader to revel in the sights, sounds, and smells of the harvest season, and to join in the exuberant cries of the harvesters. The poem is infused with a sense of gratitude and thankfulness, as if Hopkins is urging us to appreciate the gifts that nature has bestowed upon us.

But there is also a deeper spiritual dimension to the poem. Hopkins was a devout Jesuit priest, and his faith permeates much of his writing. In "Hurrahing In Harvest," he sees the hand of God in the bountiful harvest, and invites the reader to contemplate the divine source of this abundance. The poem is a celebration not only of nature's bounty, but of the spiritual gifts that come from recognizing and appreciating that bounty.

Another theme that emerges in the poem is the idea of transformation. Hopkins describes how the natural world is transformed by the harvest, as the wheat and barley are cut down and transformed into "goldsheaves." This transformation is both literal and metaphorical, as the harvested crops are transformed into food and drink, and the harvest season itself is transformed into a time of joy and celebration. This theme of transformation is linked to the idea of gratitude, as Hopkins suggests that by recognizing and appreciating the gifts of nature, we ourselves are transformed.

Conclusion

"Hurrahing In Harvest" is a joyful and exuberant poem that celebrates the abundance and generosity of nature. Through vivid imagery and exuberant language, Hopkins invites the reader to join in the celebration of the harvest season and the spiritual gifts that come with it. The poem is a powerful reminder of the importance of gratitude and thankfulness, and a testament to the transformative power of recognizing and appreciating the gifts of the natural world.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Hurrahing In Harvest: A Celebration of Nature's Bounty

Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned Victorian poet, was known for his unique style of writing that combined his love for nature with his religious beliefs. His poem "Hurrahing In Harvest" is a perfect example of this style, as it celebrates the beauty and abundance of nature during the harvest season.

The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with a different tone and theme. The first stanza sets the scene for the poem, describing the beauty of the countryside during the harvest season. Hopkins uses vivid imagery to paint a picture of the landscape, with "barley and vines" and "apples, cider and hops" all ripe for the picking. The use of alliteration and repetition in this stanza creates a sense of excitement and energy, as if the poet is caught up in the joy of the harvest.

The second stanza shifts the focus to the people who are working hard to bring in the harvest. Hopkins describes the "labourers" who are "stripping and shouting" as they gather the crops. The use of onomatopoeia in this stanza, with words like "whistling" and "crackling", adds to the sense of activity and movement. The poet also uses religious imagery in this stanza, referring to the "Lord of Harvest" who is watching over the workers and blessing their efforts.

The final stanza is the most introspective of the three, as the poet reflects on the passing of time and the inevitability of change. He describes how the "year grows old" and the "days shorten" as autumn turns to winter. The use of personification in this stanza, with the "year" and the "days" taking on human qualities, creates a sense of melancholy and nostalgia. The poet seems to be mourning the passing of the harvest season and the end of summer.

Overall, "Hurrahing In Harvest" is a celebration of nature's bounty and the hard work of those who bring in the harvest. Hopkins uses his unique style of writing to create a sense of excitement and energy in the first stanza, before shifting to a more reflective tone in the final stanza. The poem is a reminder of the beauty and abundance of nature, and the importance of appreciating it while we can.

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