'Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Poems of Gerard Manley HopkinsEarnest, earthless, equal, attuneable, ' vaulty, voluminous, ... stupendous
Evening strains to be tíme's vást, ' womb-of-all, home-of-all, hearse-of-all night.
Her fond yellow hornlight wound to the west, ' her wild hollow hoarlight hung to the height
Waste; her earliest stars, earl-stars, ' stárs principal, overbend us,
Fíre-féaturing heaven. For earth ' her being has unbound, her dapple is at an end, as-
tray or aswarm, all throughther, in throngs; ' self ín self steepèd and páshed-qúite
Disremembering, dísmémbering ' áll now. Heart, you round me right
With: Óur évening is over us; óur night ' whélms, whélms, ánd will end us.
Only the beak-leaved boughs dragonish ' damask the tool-smooth bleak light; black,
Ever so black on it. Óur tale, O óur oracle! ' Lét life, wáned, ah lét life wind
Off hér once skéined stained véined variety ' upon, áll on twó spools; párt, pen, páck
Now her áll in twó flocks, twó folds-black, white; ' right, wrong; reckon but, reck but, mind
But thése two; wáre of a wórld where bút these ' twó tell, each off the óther; of a rack
Where, selfwrung, selfstrung, sheathe- and shelterless, ' thóughts agaínst thoughts ín groans grínd.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
If you are looking for a piece of literature that will leave you in awe, then Gerard Manley Hopkins' "Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves" is the perfect poem for you. This poem is a masterpiece that showcases the genius of its author. Hopkins was a Jesuit priest and a poet of the Victorian era. He was known for his unique style of poetry that he called "sprung rhythm." In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will delve into the depths of this poem and explore its themes, literary devices, and overall meaning.
Before we begin our analysis of the poem, it is important to understand the context in which it was written. "Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves" was written in 1865, during a time of great political, social, and religious upheaval in England. The country was in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, and Victorian society was grappling with issues of poverty, inequality, and morality. Hopkins, a devout Catholic, was also struggling with his faith and his vocation as a priest.
The central theme of "Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves" is the cyclical nature of life and death. Hopkins explores this theme through the use of natural imagery, such as leaves, flowers, and trees. He presents the idea that everything in nature has a life cycle, and that death is an inevitable part of that cycle. However, he also suggests that death is not the end, but rather a stage in a larger cycle of life and renewal.
Another theme that runs throughout the poem is the idea of sacrifice. Hopkins was deeply influenced by the Catholic faith, which places a great emphasis on sacrifice as a means of redemption. In the poem, he suggests that sacrifice is necessary for growth and renewal. He writes, "All things rising, all things sizing / Mary sees, sympathizing / With that world of good, / Nature's motherhood."
Hopkins' unique style of poetry, sprung rhythm, is evident throughout the poem. Sprung rhythm is a complex system of meter that Hopkins developed, which involves the use of stressed and unstressed syllables in irregular patterns. This creates a sense of energy and movement in the poem, which is reflected in the natural imagery that Hopkins uses.
Another literary device that Hopkins employs in the poem is alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. Hopkins uses alliteration to create a musical effect in the poem. For example, in the line "Blow, let me breathe," the repetition of the "b" sound creates a sense of wind blowing.
At its core, "Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves" is a celebration of the beauty and power of nature. Hopkins acknowledges the cyclical nature of life and death, but also suggests that there is a larger cycle of renewal that is constantly at work in the natural world. He sees this cycle as a reflection of the divine, and suggests that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a part of this larger cycle of renewal.
The poem can also be interpreted as a reflection of Hopkins' own struggles with faith and vocation. Hopkins spent much of his life grappling with the tension between his faith and his desire to be a poet. In "Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves," he suggests that both his faith and his poetry are a part of the larger cycle of life and renewal.
Overall, "Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves" is a deeply spiritual and philosophical poem that explores the beauty and mystery of the natural world. Hopkins' unique style of poetry and his use of natural imagery create a sense of energy and movement that is reflective of the cyclical nature of life and death. This is a poem that will leave you in awe of the power of nature and the beauty of the divine.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves: A Masterpiece of Victorian Poetry
Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned Victorian poet, is known for his unique style of poetry that is characterized by its use of sprung rhythm and intricate wordplay. Among his many works, Poetry Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves stands out as a masterpiece of Victorian poetry. This poem is a perfect example of Hopkins' style, as it showcases his ability to use language in a way that is both beautiful and complex.
The poem is divided into two parts, each consisting of six stanzas. The first part describes the beauty of nature, while the second part explores the relationship between nature and the divine. Throughout the poem, Hopkins uses vivid imagery and metaphors to convey his message.
The first stanza of the poem sets the tone for the rest of the work. Hopkins describes the beauty of the natural world, using words like "glory" and "splendour" to convey the majesty of nature. He also uses personification to give the natural world a sense of life and vitality, describing the leaves as "tongues" and the flowers as "lips."
In the second stanza, Hopkins continues to describe the beauty of nature, focusing on the colors and textures of the natural world. He uses words like "crimson" and "gold" to describe the colors of the leaves, and "velvet" and "silk" to describe their texture. This attention to detail is a hallmark of Hopkins' style, as he often uses precise language to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind.
The third stanza marks a shift in the poem, as Hopkins begins to explore the relationship between nature and the divine. He describes the natural world as a "book" that contains the "word" of God. This metaphor suggests that nature is a source of spiritual knowledge, and that by observing the natural world, we can come to a deeper understanding of the divine.
In the fourth stanza, Hopkins continues to explore this theme, describing the natural world as a "temple" that is filled with the presence of God. He uses religious language to convey the idea that nature is a sacred space, and that by experiencing it, we can come closer to the divine.
The fifth stanza is perhaps the most complex and challenging part of the poem. Hopkins uses a series of metaphors to describe the relationship between nature and the divine, comparing it to a "veil" that hides the face of God. He suggests that while we can see glimpses of the divine in the natural world, we can never fully comprehend its true nature.
The final stanza of the first part of the poem brings the focus back to the beauty of nature. Hopkins describes the leaves as "gems" that are scattered across the ground, and suggests that they are a symbol of the beauty and abundance of the natural world.
The second part of the poem begins with a reference to the biblical story of Moses and the burning bush. Hopkins uses this story as a metaphor for the relationship between nature and the divine, suggesting that just as Moses encountered God in the burning bush, we can encounter the divine in the natural world.
In the second stanza of the second part, Hopkins continues to explore this theme, describing the natural world as a "mirror" that reflects the glory of God. He suggests that by looking at the natural world, we can see a reflection of the divine, and that this can help us to understand the nature of God.
The third stanza marks a shift in the poem, as Hopkins begins to explore the idea of sacrifice. He suggests that just as the natural world sacrifices itself to bring forth new life, we too must be willing to make sacrifices in order to grow and evolve spiritually.
In the fourth stanza, Hopkins continues to explore this theme, describing the natural world as a "chalice" that is filled with the blood of sacrifice. He suggests that the natural world is a symbol of the sacrifice that is necessary for spiritual growth, and that by embracing this sacrifice, we can come closer to the divine.
The fifth stanza is perhaps the most challenging part of the second part of the poem. Hopkins uses a series of metaphors to describe the relationship between nature and the divine, comparing it to a "ladder" that we must climb in order to reach the divine. He suggests that this climb is difficult and challenging, but that it is ultimately worth it.
The final stanza of the poem brings the focus back to the beauty of nature. Hopkins describes the leaves as "tokens" that remind us of the beauty and abundance of the natural world, and suggests that by embracing this beauty, we can come closer to the divine.
In conclusion, Poetry Spelt From Sibyl's Leaves is a masterpiece of Victorian poetry that showcases Gerard Manley Hopkins' unique style. Through his use of vivid imagery, intricate wordplay, and complex metaphors, Hopkins explores the relationship between nature and the divine, suggesting that by embracing the beauty of the natural world, we can come closer to the divine. This poem is a testament to Hopkins' skill as a poet, and a reminder of the power of language to convey complex ideas and emotions.
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