'I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins1880I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decrees
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse.
Editor 1 Interpretation
I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day - A Brilliant Work of Art
Gerard Manley Hopkins' "I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day" is a remarkable poem that delves into the darkness of the night and the fear that it brings. The poem is a reflection on the human experience and the way that we confront and overcome our deepest fears.
The poem consists of two stanzas of six lines each, with a rhyme scheme of ABCBDD. The title of the poem is a line from John Donne's "A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day" and serves as an introduction to the theme of the poem. The first stanza begins with the speaker waking up in the middle of the night and feeling the darkness surrounding him. The speaker describes the darkness as a "fell," a word that means a skin or hide stripped from an animal. This image suggests that the darkness is a tangible thing that has a physical presence.
The second stanza continues the theme of darkness and fear, but there is a shift in tone. The speaker declares that he will face his fear and "let it pass," showing a willingness to confront his fear rather than let it consume him. The final lines of the poem are a repetition of the first line of the first stanza, "I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day," but with a slight variation. The addition of the word "glory" suggests that the speaker has found a sense of peace and acceptance in the darkness.
The poem is filled with rich imagery and metaphors that create a vivid and powerful sense of fear and darkness. The use of the word "fell" in the first line is particularly effective in creating a sense of physicality and tangibility to the darkness. The repetition of the first line at the end of the poem, with the addition of the word "glory," creates a sense of closure and resolution, suggesting that the speaker has come to terms with his fear and embraced the darkness.
Hopkins' use of meter and rhythm also adds to the overall effect of the poem. The use of trochaic meter (a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable) creates a sense of urgency and energy, suggesting that the speaker is determined to face his fear. The repetition of the word "and" in the first line of each stanza creates a sense of momentum, as if the speaker is moving forward despite the darkness.
The use of alliteration and internal rhyme also adds to the overall effect of the poem. The repetition of the "f" sound in the first line of the first stanza ("fell of dark") creates a sense of foreboding and darkness. The repetition of the "d" sound in the rhyme scheme ("day," "pass," "said") creates a sense of finality and resolution.
At its core, "I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day" is a meditation on the human experience of fear and darkness. The poem suggests that we all face moments of darkness and fear in our lives, but that we have the power to confront and overcome them. The repetition of the first line of the poem at the end, with the addition of the word "glory," suggests that the speaker has found a sense of peace and acceptance in the darkness, and perhaps even sees it as a source of beauty.
The poem can also be seen as a reflection on the role of faith in overcoming fear. Hopkins was a Jesuit priest, and his religious beliefs are often reflected in his poetry. The willingness of the speaker to face his fear and let it pass can be seen as a manifestation of faith, and the repetition of the word "glory" at the end of the poem suggests that the speaker has found a sense of spiritual fulfillment in confronting his fear.
"I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day" is a masterpiece of poetry that explores the human experience of fear and darkness. Hopkins' use of vivid imagery, meter, and rhyme creates a powerful and evocative portrait of a person confronting their deepest fears. The poem suggests that we all face moments of darkness and fear in our lives, but that we have the power to confront and overcome them. Ultimately, the poem is a meditation on the role of faith and the power of acceptance in overcoming our fears and finding a sense of peace and beauty in the darkness.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day: A Masterpiece of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned poet of the Victorian era, is known for his unique style of writing and his ability to capture the essence of nature in his works. One of his most famous poems, "I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day," is a masterpiece that showcases his talent for using language to evoke powerful emotions and imagery.
The poem is a sonnet, which is a fourteen-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme. Hopkins uses the Petrarchan sonnet form, which consists of an octave (eight lines) and a sestet (six lines). The rhyme scheme of the octave is ABBAABBA, while the sestet has a more flexible rhyme scheme, such as CDCDCD or CDECDE.
The poem begins with the line "I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The speaker is waking up in the middle of the night and is surrounded by darkness. The word "fell" is an archaic term that means "cruel" or "harsh," which suggests that the darkness is not just physical but also has a negative emotional impact on the speaker.
Hopkins uses alliteration and assonance throughout the poem to create a musical quality that adds to the overall effect of the poem. For example, in the second line, he writes "What hours, O what black hours we have spent," which uses the repetition of the "h" sound to create a sense of heaviness and despair.
The poem is full of vivid imagery that helps to convey the speaker's emotions. In the third line, Hopkins writes, "This is the waking hour though we slept," which suggests that the speaker is not fully awake but is in a state of half-consciousness. The use of the word "hour" also implies that time is passing slowly and painfully.
The fourth line, "Soft, dark, and warm, how soft and dark and warm," uses repetition to emphasize the sensory experience of the darkness. The words "soft" and "warm" create a sense of comfort, but the darkness is also "dark," which suggests that it is also oppressive and suffocating.
In the octave, Hopkins uses a metaphor to describe the darkness as a "blanket" that covers everything. He writes, "Underneath the stars, where I am, lost, / Will myself, and deal with each ghostly shred." The stars are a symbol of hope and guidance, but the speaker is lost and unable to find his way. The use of the word "ghostly" suggests that the speaker is haunted by his own thoughts and fears.
In the sestet, Hopkins shifts the focus to the speaker's relationship with God. He writes, "I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree / Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me." The speaker is experiencing bitterness and pain, but he recognizes that it is part of God's plan for him. The use of the word "gall" suggests that the speaker is experiencing bitterness and resentment, while "heartburn" implies a physical discomfort.
The final two lines of the poem are a powerful conclusion that ties together the themes of darkness, suffering, and faith. Hopkins writes, "Christ's cross took all my heart's unrest / And left his peace and joy instead." The cross is a symbol of suffering and sacrifice, but it also represents redemption and hope. The speaker has found peace and joy through his faith in Christ, despite the darkness and pain he has experienced.
In conclusion, "I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day" is a powerful and evocative poem that showcases Gerard Manley Hopkins' unique style and talent for using language to convey complex emotions and imagery. The poem explores themes of darkness, suffering, and faith, and uses vivid imagery and musical language to create a powerful emotional impact on the reader. It is a masterpiece of Victorian poetry that continues to resonate with readers today.
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