'The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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(Maidens' song from St. Winefred's Well)
THE LEADEN ECHO
How to kéep—is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, ... from vanishing away?
Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles deep,
Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there 's none, there 's none, O no there 's none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age's evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death's worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there 's none; no no no there 's none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.
THE GOLDEN ECHO
There ís one, yes I have one (Hush there!);
Only not within seeing of the sun,
Not within the singeing of the strong sun,
Tall sun's tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth's air,
Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one,
Oné. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place,
Where whatever's prized and passes of us, everything that 's fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone,
Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet
Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matchèd face,
The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet,
Never fleets móre, fastened with the tenderest truth
To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an everlastingness of, O it is an all youth!
Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace—
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sighs soaring, soaring síghs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver.
See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
Is, hair of the head, numbered.
Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould
Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept,
This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold
What while we, while we slumbered.
O then, weary then why When the thing we freely fórfeit is kept with fonder a care,
Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept
Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder
A care kept.—Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.—
Yonder.—What high as that! We follow, now we follow.—Yonder, yes yonder, yonder,
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo: A Masterpiece of Literary Art
Are you looking for a poem that will transport you to a different world and leave you spellbound? Look no further than Gerard Manley Hopkins' "The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo."
This poem is a masterpiece of literary art that explores the theme of the transience of youth and beauty. It is divided into two parts: the first, "The Leaden Echo," portrays the inevitability of aging and death, while the second, "The Golden Echo," offers hope for eternal life through spiritual rebirth.
Hopkins' use of language and imagery is nothing short of breathtaking. From the alliterative opening line, "The Leaden Echo, the Golden Echo," to the vivid descriptions of nature and the human body, every word is carefully chosen to create a multisensory experience for the reader.
Let's dive into the poem and explore its rich meaning and literary techniques.
The Leaden Echo: The Inevitability of Aging and Death
The first part of the poem, "The Leaden Echo," paints a bleak picture of the transience of youth and beauty. The speaker reflects upon his own youth and the passing of time, using powerful imagery to convey the sense of loss and decay.
He begins by invoking the image of a bell that tolls for the dead:
How to keep--is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, lace, latch or catch or key to keep Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, ... from vanishing away?
This opening stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The repetition of "beauty" and the sense of desperation in the speaker's voice create a sense of urgency, as if he is searching for a way to hold onto something that is slipping away.
The speaker then shifts his focus to his own body, describing it in vivid detail:
O is there no frowning of these wrinkles, Ranked wrinkles deepening round, all furrowed once? Are all soil'd, all spotted; not a rod, Stone, craft, or winkle, nor can wand Of brush or bough clean them?
Again, the use of repetition and alliteration creates a sense of rhythm and musicality in the language. The imagery of the wrinkles and spots on the speaker's skin is both visceral and poignant, conveying the sense of physical decay that comes with aging.
The final stanza of "The Leaden Echo" drives home the message of the poem with stark clarity:
O that we might make the world forget And lose ourselves in the gay forgetting Of airhead-aimless, air-shooting, air-bubble Boisterous, treacherous, northern train of light!
Here, the speaker expresses his desire to forget about the inevitability of aging and death and to lose himself in the fleeting pleasures of life. The contrast between the "gay forgetting" and the "northern train of light" is striking, highlighting the temporary nature of human joy compared to the eternal nature of the natural world.
The Golden Echo: Hope for Eternal Life
After painting such a bleak portrait of aging and death in "The Leaden Echo," the second part of the poem, "The Golden Echo," offers a glimmer of hope for eternal life through spiritual rebirth.
The speaker begins by invoking the image of the "fountain of our baptism":
When the thing we freely forfeit Is kept with fonder a care, Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, Kept far with fonder a care ... Praise to the Holiest in the height And in the depth be praise: In all his words most wonderful; most sure In all his ways!
The language in this section is more upbeat and hopeful, reflecting the speaker's newfound sense of spiritual connection. The repetition of "fonder a care" emphasizes the idea that our souls are more important than our physical bodies, and that they can be saved through spiritual devotion.
The second stanza of "The Golden Echo" continues this theme:
For though the flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.
Here, the speaker uses the metaphor of a ship crossing a bar to describe the journey from life to death. The image of seeing the "Pilot face to face" suggests a sense of spiritual enlightenment and the hope for eternal life.
Literary Techniques: Alliteration, Repetition, and Imagery
Throughout "The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo," Hopkins employs a range of literary techniques to create a rich and multisensory experience for the reader.
One of the most striking techniques is alliteration, which is used extensively throughout the poem. Examples include "bow or brooch or braid or brace," "airhead-aimless, air-shooting, air-bubble," and "fonder a care kept than we could have kept it." The use of alliteration creates a sense of rhythm and musicality in the language, drawing the reader into the poem and creating a sense of unity between the different parts.
Repetition is also used to great effect in the poem. The repetition of words and phrases such as "beauty," "fonder a care," and "praise" creates a sense of urgency and emphasizes the central themes of the poem. The repetition of "The Leaden Echo, the Golden Echo" at the beginning of the poem also serves to unify the two parts and create a sense of continuity.
Finally, the imagery in the poem is striking and vivid. Hopkins uses descriptions of nature and the human body to convey a sense of the passing of time and the transience of youth and beauty. For example, the wrinkle and spot on the speaker's skin, the "northern train of light," and the ship crossing the bar all create powerful images in the reader's mind.
Conclusion: A Masterpiece of Literary Art
In conclusion, "The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo" is a masterpiece of literary art that explores the theme of the transience of youth and beauty. Hopkins' use of language and imagery creates a rich and multisensory experience for the reader, drawing them into the poem and conveying a sense of urgency and hope.
Through his masterful use of alliteration, repetition, and imagery, Hopkins creates a sense of continuity and unity between the two parts of the poem, highlighting the central themes and driving home the message with stark clarity.
If you are looking for a poem that will leave you spellbound and transport you to a different world, look no further than "The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo."
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo: An Analysis of Gerard Manley Hopkins' Classic Poem
Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned English poet, wrote a masterpiece in the form of a poem titled The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo. This poem is a reflection of the human experience, and it explores the themes of life, death, and the afterlife. The poem is divided into two parts, the first being The Leaden Echo, and the second being The Golden Echo. In this analysis, we will delve into the poem's structure, language, and themes to understand its significance and beauty.
The poem is structured in two parts, with each part having a distinct tone and theme. The first part, The Leaden Echo, is written in a somber and melancholic tone. It is a reflection of the human experience and the inevitability of death. The second part, The Golden Echo, is written in a more joyful and hopeful tone. It is a reflection of the afterlife and the possibility of eternal life.
The poem is written in a unique form known as sprung rhythm. This form is characterized by irregular meter and a complex system of stresses and syllables. Hopkins uses this form to create a musical quality in his poetry, and it adds to the poem's beauty and complexity.
Hopkins' use of language in this poem is nothing short of brilliant. He uses a variety of literary devices such as alliteration, assonance, and repetition to create a musical quality in his poetry. For example, in the first stanza of The Leaden Echo, he uses alliteration to create a sense of heaviness and weight:
"How to keep--is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, lace, latch or catch or key to keep"
The repetition of the "k" sound creates a sense of weight and burden, which is a reflection of the poem's theme of death and the heaviness of life.
The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo explores several themes, including life, death, and the afterlife. The first part of the poem, The Leaden Echo, is a reflection of the human experience and the inevitability of death. Hopkins uses imagery and language to create a sense of heaviness and weight, which is a reflection of the burden of life. He writes:
"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"
This passage is a reflection of the human experience and the search for meaning in life. It is a reminder that life is fleeting and that death is inevitable.
The second part of the poem, The Golden Echo, is a reflection of the afterlife and the possibility of eternal life. Hopkins uses imagery and language to create a sense of joy and hope, which is a reflection of the possibility of eternal life. He writes:
"O sweet and far from cliff and scar The horns of Elfland faintly blowing! Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying: Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying."
This passage is a reflection of the afterlife and the possibility of eternal life. It is a reminder that death is not the end and that there is hope for eternal life.
In conclusion, The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo is a masterpiece of English poetry. It explores the themes of life, death, and the afterlife in a unique and beautiful way. Hopkins' use of language and structure creates a musical quality in his poetry, which adds to its beauty and complexity. This poem is a reflection of the human experience and a reminder that life is fleeting, but there is hope for eternal life.
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