'May Magnificat' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—
Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?
Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Throstle above her nested
Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry
And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—
This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.
Editor 1 Interpretation
#May Magnificat: A Literary Masterpiece
Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned English poet, wrote several poems that have stood the test of time, May Magnificat being one of them. The poem, which was written in 1877, is a beautiful ode to the month of May, which symbolizes spring and renewal. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes, symbolism, and literary techniques used in May Magnificat that have made it a literary masterpiece.
May Magnificat has several themes, including nature, religion, and the beauty of the world. Hopkins uses nature as a metaphor for spiritual renewal and rebirth. The poem is an ode to spring, which represents new life and growth. The poem celebrates the beauty of the natural world and praises the magnificence of God's creation.
Hopkins uses several symbols in May Magnificat, including the month of May, the Virgin Mary, and the natural world. May represents the arrival of spring and new life. The Virgin Mary symbolizes purity and holiness. The natural world represents God's creation and his magnificence.
Hopkins uses several literary techniques in May Magnificat that make it a literary masterpiece. One of these techniques is alliteration, which is the repetition of consonant sounds. Hopkins uses alliteration to create a musical quality to the poem. For example, "May Magnificat, / Blue rush, of heaven" creates a beautiful sound that adds to the poem's beauty.
Another literary technique that Hopkins uses is imagery, which is the use of descriptive language to create a mental picture. Hopkins uses imagery to describe the natural world and the Virgin Mary. For example, "Earth, like an only child / Nestling in bosom of bliss" creates a vivid image of the earth as a child nestled in the comfort of the Virgin Mary's bosom.
Finally, Hopkins uses repetition to emphasize key themes in the poem. For example, the repetition of the phrase "May Magnificat" reinforces the idea that May is a month of magnificence and renewal.
May Magnificat is a beautiful poem that celebrates the arrival of spring and the beauty of God's creation. The poem uses nature as a metaphor for spiritual renewal, emphasizing the importance of finding renewal and growth in one's spiritual life. The poem also celebrates the Virgin Mary, who represents purity and holiness.
The use of literary techniques such as alliteration, imagery, and repetition add to the poem's beauty and depth. Hopkins is able to use these techniques to create a musical quality to the poem, as well as to create vivid images that add to the poem's meaning.
Overall, May Magnificat is a literary masterpiece that celebrates the beauty of nature and the spiritual renewal that comes with the arrival of spring. Through its use of symbolism and literary techniques, Hopkins is able to create a powerful and moving poem that speaks to the heart and soul of the reader.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
May Magnificat: A Celebration of Spring and Renewal
Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned Victorian poet, was known for his unique style of poetry that combined his love for nature with his religious beliefs. His poem, May Magnificat, is a beautiful ode to the arrival of spring and the renewal of life. In this 14-line poem, Hopkins captures the essence of the season with his vivid imagery and rich language.
The poem begins with the words "May is Mary's month," which immediately establishes a connection between the season of spring and the Virgin Mary. Hopkins was a devout Catholic and often used religious themes in his poetry. In this case, he is drawing a parallel between the rebirth of nature in spring and the idea of spiritual renewal.
The next line, "and I muse at that and wonder why," suggests that the speaker is contemplating the significance of this connection. The use of the word "muse" implies a sense of wonder and curiosity, as if the speaker is trying to unravel a mystery.
Hopkins then goes on to describe the beauty of the season with his vivid imagery. He writes, "Her [Mary's] feasts follow reason, / Dated in their own season." This line suggests that Mary's feasts, or celebrations, are in harmony with the natural world. Hopkins is highlighting the idea that the cycles of nature and the cycles of the church are intertwined.
The next few lines describe the beauty of the natural world in spring. Hopkins writes, "Winter's cold reason / Out of sight and out of mind." This line suggests that the harshness of winter is forgotten in the beauty of spring. The use of the word "reason" here is interesting, as it suggests that winter is a time of rationality and logic, while spring is a time of emotion and beauty.
Hopkins then goes on to describe the beauty of the flowers in spring. He writes, "Earth's germination / Takes all the heart and all the wits." This line suggests that the process of growth and renewal in spring requires both physical and mental effort. The use of the word "germination" is significant, as it suggests the beginning of new life.
The next few lines describe the beauty of the natural world in more detail. Hopkins writes, "To cherish one's life's self and stake all one's heart / And all one's wits upon a spring gamble." This line suggests that the beauty of spring is worth taking a risk for. The use of the word "gamble" implies a sense of uncertainty and unpredictability, which is fitting for the season of spring.
Hopkins then goes on to describe the beauty of the birds in spring. He writes, "What is all this juice and all this joy?" This line suggests that the abundance of life in spring is almost overwhelming. The use of the word "juice" is interesting, as it suggests a sense of vitality and energy.
The final lines of the poem return to the theme of Mary and the church. Hopkins writes, "A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning / In Eden garden." This line suggests that the beauty of the natural world is a reflection of God's creation. The use of the word "strain" is significant, as it suggests a sense of continuity and connection between the past and the present.
Overall, May Magnificat is a beautiful celebration of spring and renewal. Hopkins' use of vivid imagery and rich language captures the essence of the season and its connection to spiritual renewal. The poem is a testament to the beauty of nature and the power of faith, and it continues to inspire readers to this day.
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