'The Lantern Out Of Doors' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Poems of Gerard Manley HopkinsSometimes a lantern moves along the night,That interests our eyes. And who goes there?I think; where from and bound, I wonder, where,
With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?Men go by me whom either beauty brightIn mould or mind or what not else makes rare:They rain against our much-thick and marsh air
Rich beams, till death or distance buys them quite.Death or distance soon consumes them: windWhat most I may eye after, be in at the end
I cannot, and out of sight is out of mind.Christ minds: Christ's interest, what to avow or amendThere, éyes them, heart wánts, care haúnts, foot fóllows kínd,
Their ránsom, théir rescue, ánd first, fást, last friénd.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Lantern Out of Doors: A Masterpiece of Poetry
Gerard Manley Hopkins' "The Lantern Out of Doors" is a poem that strikes both the mind and the heart. It offers a unique insight into the world of nature, with all its beauty and wonder, and the poet's own feelings and beliefs about it. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the different aspects of the poem, from its structure and language to its themes and meanings, and examine how they all work together to create a masterpiece of poetry.
Structure and Language
"The Lantern Out of Doors" is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter. The poem is divided into two parts: the octet, which consists of eight lines, and the sestet, which consists of six. The octet presents an idea or an image, while the sestet offers a resolution or a conclusion. This structure is typical of the sonnet form, and it allows Hopkins to develop his thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
The language of the poem is also noteworthy. Hopkins uses a variety of poetic devices, such as alliteration, assonance, and internal rhyme, to create a musical and rhythmic effect. For example, in the line "A Light, a Light, in boughs beyond outspanning" (line 5), there is an alliteration of the letter "L" and an internal rhyme between "Light" and "outspanning". This repetition of sounds creates a sense of harmony and unity within the poem, and it adds to its overall beauty and power.
Moreover, Hopkins makes use of vivid and sensory imagery to bring the natural world to life. He describes the "chill drip of the wood" (line 3), the "glimpses of the moon's rim" (line 6), and the "blue-bleak embers" (line 11) with such precision and detail that the reader can almost feel and see them. This use of imagery not only makes the poem more enjoyable to read, but it also helps to convey the poet's feelings and emotions about nature.
Themes and Meanings
At its core, "The Lantern Out of Doors" is a poem about the beauty and wonder of nature, and the poet's own relationship with it. The poem celebrates the natural world, with all its mystery and majesty, and it highlights the importance of connecting with it on a deeper level. Hopkins writes:
What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
This passage speaks to the poet's belief that nature is essential to our well-being, and that we should preserve it for future generations. He sees nature as a source of inspiration and wonder, and he encourages us to appreciate it in all its forms.
Another theme that runs throughout the poem is the idea of light. Hopkins uses the image of the lantern to symbolize the light of the natural world, which illuminates and beautifies everything around it. He writes:
Lantern, your beam alone keeps kindled Within my ken the walls and woods that walled me Round and withstood me
Here, the poet is expressing his gratitude for the light of nature, which has helped him to see and appreciate the world around him. He sees the light as a source of hope and inspiration, and he encourages us to seek it out for ourselves.
"The Lantern Out of Doors" is a powerful and moving poem that speaks to the heart of the human experience. It reminds us of the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and it encourages us to connect with it on a deeper level. The poem is a celebration of life, and a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and light.
One interpretation of the poem is that it is a call to action. Hopkins is urging us to take responsibility for our environment and to work towards preserving it for future generations. He sees nature as a precious resource, and he wants us to value it as such. By preserving nature, we are not only preserving our own well-being, but we are also preserving the well-being of the planet as a whole.
Another interpretation of the poem is that it is a meditation on the spiritual nature of the natural world. Hopkins was a deeply religious man, and his faith is evident in this poem. He sees nature as a manifestation of God's glory, and he encourages us to seek out the divine in all its forms. By connecting with nature, we are also connecting with the divine, and we are opening ourselves up to a world of wonder and beauty.
In conclusion, "The Lantern Out of Doors" is a masterpiece of poetry that speaks to the heart and the mind. It is a celebration of nature, and a reminder of its importance in our lives. The poem is a call to action, urging us to take responsibility for our environment and to preserve it for future generations. It is also a meditation on the spiritual nature of the natural world, and an encouragement to seek out the divine in all its forms. With its beautiful language, vivid imagery, and powerful themes, "The Lantern Out of Doors" is a work of art that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Lantern Out of Doors: A Masterpiece of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned Victorian poet, is known for his innovative and experimental style of poetry. His works are characterized by their unique use of language, sound, and rhythm. One of his most celebrated poems is "The Lantern Out of Doors," which is a beautiful and complex piece of literature that explores the themes of nature, spirituality, and the human experience.
The poem is divided into two stanzas, each consisting of eight lines. The first stanza describes the beauty of nature and the second stanza explores the spiritual significance of the natural world. The poem begins with the image of a lantern, which is used as a metaphor for the human soul. The lantern is described as being "out of doors," which suggests that it is exposed to the elements and vulnerable to the forces of nature.
Hopkins then goes on to describe the natural world, using vivid and evocative language. He describes the "wind-wandering weed-weary waves" and the "rolling, roaming, ramping, rampaging" clouds. These images create a sense of movement and energy, as if the natural world is alive and in constant motion.
The second stanza of the poem shifts the focus to the spiritual significance of nature. Hopkins suggests that the natural world is a reflection of the divine, and that by experiencing nature, we can connect with the divine. He writes, "O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall / Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed." This suggests that the human mind is capable of experiencing the sublime, but that it is also capable of being overwhelmed by it.
Hopkins then goes on to describe the beauty of the natural world in more detail. He writes, "And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; / And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell." This suggests that the natural world is often polluted and degraded by human activity, but that it still retains its inherent beauty and spiritual significance.
The poem ends with the image of the lantern, which is now described as being "lit with eternal light." This suggests that by experiencing the natural world, we can connect with the divine and find a sense of peace and enlightenment.
Overall, "The Lantern Out of Doors" is a beautiful and complex poem that explores the themes of nature, spirituality, and the human experience. Hopkins' use of language, sound, and rhythm creates a sense of movement and energy that reflects the beauty and power of the natural world. The poem is a testament to Hopkins' innovative and experimental style of poetry, and it remains a masterpiece of Victorian literature to this day.
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