'Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Poems of Gerard Manley HopkinsThe dappled die-away
Cheek and wimpled lip,
The gold-wisp, the airy-grey
Eye, all in fellowship-
This, all this beauty blooming,
This, all this freshness fuming,
Give God while worth consuming.Both thought and thew now bolder
And told by Nature: Tower;
Head, heart, hand, heel, and shoulder
That beat and breathe in power-
This pride of prime's enjoyment
Take as for tool, not toy meant
And hold at Christ's employment.The vault and scope and schooling
And mastery in the mind,
In silk-ash kept from cooling,
And ripest under rind-
What life half lifts the latch of,
What hell stalks towards the snatch of,
Your offering, with despatch, of!
Editor 1 Interpretation
"Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" by Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Deep Exploration of Faith and Nature
Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian era, known for his unique style and profound exploration of faith and nature. His poem "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is no exception, as it delves into the themes of sacrifice, renewal, and the eternal cycle of life and death.
Overview of the Poem
The poem is divided into three sections, each corresponding to a different time of day. The first section, "Morning," describes the dawn of a new day and the sacrifice of the Old Testament priests. The second section, "Midday," explores the idea of renewal and rebirth, using the imagery of the noonday sun to symbolize the power of God to bring new life. Finally, the third section, "Evening," reflects on the passing of time and the inevitability of death, ending with a prayer for eternal life.
Analysis of the Poem
The first section of the poem sets the stage for the rest of the piece, as it establishes the theme of sacrifice. Hopkins draws on Old Testament imagery, describing the "priests risen early" to offer "incense and sacrifice." The use of the word "early" emphasizes the dedication and commitment of the priests, as they rise before the sun to perform their duties.
The poem goes on to describe the sacrifice itself, with Hopkins using vivid images to convey the intensity of the experience. He writes of "squadrons of fireflies" and "glowing embers," creating a sense of warmth and light that illuminates the scene. The use of the word "squadrons" adds a military tone to the poem, emphasizing the seriousness of the sacrifice.
As the sacrifice is performed, Hopkins introduces the idea of renewal, with the smoke from the incense rising "like a prayer." This image suggests that the sacrifice is not just a ritual, but a means of connecting with the divine and seeking renewal and spiritual growth.
The second section of the poem moves from sacrifice to renewal, with Hopkins using the imagery of the noonday sun to symbolize the power of God to bring new life. He writes of the "sunburst" and the "shower of spring," emphasizing the idea of growth and renewal that comes with the changing of the seasons.
The poem also introduces the idea of the "sacrifice of praise," as Hopkins writes that "All things rising, all things sizing / Mary sees, sympathizing / with that world of good / Nature's motherhood." This phrase suggests that the act of praising God is itself a form of sacrifice, as it requires us to give up our own desires and focus on the divine.
The final section of the poem reflects on the passing of time and the inevitability of death. Hopkins writes of the "waning day" and the "dimming light," creating a sense of melancholy and sadness. He also introduces the idea of "the grandeur of God," suggesting that even in death there is a sense of awe and wonder to be found.
The poem ends with a prayer for eternal life, as Hopkins writes, "May we sing like Mary in the morning, / may we love like her in the noonday, / may we weep like her in the evening." This final stanza suggests that the key to eternal life lies in our ability to connect with the divine and to find renewal and growth in every moment of our lives.
There are several themes that run throughout "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice." One of the most prominent is the idea of sacrifice, with Hopkins exploring the concept of giving up something in order to connect with the divine. He also touches on the themes of renewal and rebirth, suggesting that the changing of the seasons and the passing of time are opportunities for spiritual growth and renewal.
Another important theme is the connection between nature and the divine. Hopkins often used nature imagery in his poetry, and in "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice," he suggests that the natural world is a reflection of the divine. This idea is particularly evident in the second section of the poem, where Hopkins describes the "sacrifice of praise" as a way of connecting with the "world of good / Nature's motherhood."
Finally, the poem explores the theme of eternity, with Hopkins ending on a prayer for eternal life. This suggests that the ultimate goal of sacrifice and spiritual growth is to achieve a sense of permanence and continuity in the face of death and the passing of time.
"Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a powerful poem that explores the themes of sacrifice, renewal, and the connection between nature and the divine. Hopkins' vivid imagery and unique style make the poem a profound meditation on the eternal cycle of life and death, and the quest for spiritual growth and renewal. Overall, the poem is a testament to Hopkins' deep faith and his ability to find profound meaning in the natural world.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian era, and his poem "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a masterpiece of religious poetry. This poem is a deeply spiritual meditation on the nature of sacrifice and the relationship between God and humanity. In this analysis, we will explore the themes, structure, and language of this remarkable work.
The poem is divided into three parts, each corresponding to a different time of day: morning, midday, and evening. Each section begins with a description of the natural world, which serves as a backdrop for the poet's reflections on sacrifice. In the morning section, Hopkins describes the sunrise, with its "gold-vermilion" hues and "flame-flecked" clouds. He then moves on to the idea of sacrifice, describing it as a "gift" that is given to God. This gift is not something that can be taken back or reclaimed, but is instead a permanent offering that is given freely and without reservation.
The midday section of the poem is perhaps the most complex, as it deals with the idea of sacrifice in the context of Christ's crucifixion. Hopkins describes the sun at its zenith, "burning with a fierce heat," and then moves on to the image of Christ on the cross. He describes the "blood and water" that flowed from Christ's side, and the "wounds" that he suffered for humanity's sake. This section of the poem is a powerful meditation on the nature of sacrifice, and the idea that Christ's death was the ultimate sacrifice that redeemed humanity.
The final section of the poem, the evening sacrifice, is perhaps the most hopeful. Hopkins describes the sunset, with its "purple and gold" hues, and then moves on to the idea of sacrifice as a means of achieving spiritual transformation. He describes the "purging fire" that burns away our sins and imperfections, leaving us purified and renewed. This section of the poem is a powerful reminder that sacrifice is not just about giving something up, but about gaining something greater in return.
Throughout the poem, Hopkins uses a variety of poetic techniques to convey his message. One of the most striking is his use of imagery, which is rich and vivid throughout. He describes the natural world in detail, using words like "gold-vermilion," "flame-flecked," and "purple and gold" to create a sense of beauty and wonder. He also uses religious imagery, such as the image of Christ on the cross, to convey the idea of sacrifice and redemption.
Another technique that Hopkins uses is repetition. He repeats certain phrases and images throughout the poem, such as the image of the sun and the idea of sacrifice as a gift. This repetition serves to reinforce the poem's themes and to create a sense of unity and coherence.
Finally, Hopkins uses a complex and highly structured form for the poem. Each section is divided into three stanzas, with each stanza consisting of three lines. This structure creates a sense of balance and symmetry, and reinforces the poem's themes of sacrifice and transformation.
In conclusion, "Morning Midday And Evening Sacrifice" is a remarkable work of religious poetry that explores the nature of sacrifice and the relationship between God and humanity. Through its rich imagery, repetition, and complex structure, the poem conveys a powerful message of hope and redemption. It is a testament to Hopkins' skill as a poet, and to his deep spiritual insight.
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