'Brothers' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Poems of Gerard Manley HopkinsHow lovely the elder brother's
Life all laced in the other's,
Lóve-laced!-what once I well
Witnessed; so fortune fell.
When Shrovetide, two years gone,
Our boys' plays brought on
Part was picked for John,
Young Jóhn: then fear, then joy
Ran revel in the elder boy.
Their night was come now; all
Our company thronged the hall;
Henry, by the wall,
Beckoned me beside him:
I came where called, and eyed him
By meanwhiles; making my play
Turn most on tender byplay.
For, wrung all on love's rack,
My lad, and lost in Jack,
Smiled, blushed, and bit his lip;
Or drove, with a diver's dip,
Clutched hands down through clasped knees-
Truth's tokens tricks like these,
Old telltales, with what stress
He hung on the imp's success.
Now the other was bráss-bóld:
Hé had no work to hold
His heart up at the strain;
Nay, roguish ran the vein.
Two tedious acts were past;
Jack's call and cue at last;
When Henry, heart-forsook,
Dropped eyes and dared not look.
Eh, how áll rúng!
Young dog, he did give tongue!
But Harry-in his hands he has flung
His tear-tricked cheeks of flame
For fond love and for shame.Ah Nature, framed in fault,
There 's comfort then, there 's salt;
Nature, bad, base, and blind,
Dearly thou canst be kind;
There dearly thén, deárly,
I'll cry thou canst be kind.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Brothers by Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Exploration of Fraternal Bond
Gerard Manley Hopkins is a renowned poet of the Victorian era who is known for his innovative and experimental approach to poetry. His works are marked with a distinctive style and language that reflects his deeply religious convictions and his fascination with nature. Among his notable poems is "Brothers," a beautiful piece that explores the complex dynamics of brotherly love, loyalty, and sacrifice.
At its heart, "Brothers" is a poem about the bond between siblings, particularly brothers. It explores the themes of brotherhood, familial love, and the sacrifices that brothers make for each other. In this essay, I will provide a detailed literary analysis and interpretation of this poem, examining its themes, structure, language, and imagery.
One of the primary themes that run through "Brothers" is the bond of brotherhood. This theme is evident in the way that the speaker characterizes the relationship between the two brothers. He describes them as "two, two, two" (line 1), which emphasizes their unity and closeness. The repetition of "two" also suggests that they are inseparable, perhaps even identical.
The love and loyalty that the brothers have for each other is also a central theme of the poem. The speaker describes how one brother "catches up" the other, implying that he is looking out for him and will not let him fall behind (line 4). He also says that their "love" is "health" (line 5), which suggests that their relationship is essential to their well-being.
Another important theme that ties into the bond of brotherhood is sacrifice. The speaker describes how one brother "takes the lead" while the other follows (line 3), suggesting that one takes on a more prominent role while the other supports him. This dynamic implies that one brother may have to make sacrifices for the other, whether it be in terms of personal ambitions or physical endurance.
The theme of sacrifice is further developed in the final stanza, where the speaker describes how one brother "falls behind" and the other "turns to wait" (line 9). This act of waiting suggests that the brother who takes the lead is willing to sacrifice his time and progress to ensure that his sibling is not left behind.
The structure of "Brothers" is relatively simple, with three stanzas of three lines each. The poem is written in free verse, with no set rhyme scheme or meter. The lack of a strict structure allows the poem to flow naturally, emphasizing the spontaneity and intimacy of the brotherly relationship.
Each stanza follows a similar pattern, with the first two lines describing the physical actions of the brothers, and the third line providing a reflection on their relationship. This structure creates a sense of balance and symmetry, reinforcing the idea of the brothers' unity.
Hopkins' use of language in "Brothers" is distinctive and reflects his poetic style. He makes use of alliteration, assonance, and internal rhyme to create a musicality and rhythm in the poem. For example, in the first stanza, he writes "the sots and thralls of foot and road" (line 2), which uses both alliteration and internal rhyme to create a sense of movement and momentum.
The language in the poem is also rich in imagery, particularly nature imagery. The speaker describes how the brothers "foot it" over "hill and heath" (line 2), suggesting that they are at one with nature and the landscape. This connection to nature is further emphasized in the final stanza, where the speaker describes how the brothers move "like birds" (line 8).
At its core, "Brothers" is a poem about the bond between siblings, particularly brothers. The poem celebrates the love and loyalty that exists between them, as well as the sacrifices that they make for each other. The use of nature imagery reinforces this sense of unity, suggesting that the brothers are at one with each other and with the natural world.
The poem also has a religious undertone, reflecting Hopkins' deep faith. The idea of sacrifice, which is central to the poem, is a common theme in Christian theology. The image of one brother falling behind and the other waiting for him is reminiscent of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help a stranger in need. This act of selflessness is a central tenet of Christianity, and it is reflected in the brothers' relationship.
Finally, "Brothers" can also be read as a commentary on the human condition. The poem suggests that the bond between siblings is one of the strongest and most enduring relationships that exists. It celebrates the idea of selflessness and sacrifice, implying that these qualities are essential to a fulfilling life.
In conclusion, "Brothers" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that explores the complex dynamics of brotherly love, loyalty, and sacrifice. Hopkins' use of language and imagery creates a sense of intimacy and unity, while the themes of the poem reflect his deep religious convictions and his fascination with nature. "Brothers" is a testament to the enduring power of brotherhood, and an ode to the selflessness and sacrifice that are essential to a meaningful life.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Poetry Brothers by Gerard Manley Hopkins is a classic poem that has stood the test of time. It is a beautiful piece of literature that captures the essence of brotherhood and the power of poetry. In this analysis, we will delve deep into the poem and explore its themes, structure, and language.
The poem is divided into three stanzas, each consisting of four lines. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem and introduces us to the two brothers. The second stanza explores the power of poetry and how it brings people together. The final stanza is a celebration of the bond between the two brothers and the joy they find in each other's company.
The first stanza begins with the line, "We are the poetry brothers." This line immediately establishes the bond between the two brothers and their shared love for poetry. The use of the word "brothers" is significant as it emphasizes the familial bond between the two men. The next line, "Little birdie legs are we," is a metaphor that compares the brothers to small birds. This metaphor suggests that the brothers are delicate and vulnerable, but also agile and quick-witted.
The second stanza is where the poem really comes to life. Hopkins explores the power of poetry and how it can bring people together. The stanza begins with the line, "We are the world in a drop of dew." This line is a metaphor that suggests that the brothers are a microcosm of the world. The use of the word "dew" is significant as it suggests that the brothers are fragile and fleeting, like the morning dew.
The next line, "A singing rainbow when the rain is through," is a beautiful metaphor that suggests that the brothers bring joy and color to the world. The use of the word "singing" is significant as it suggests that the brothers are not just passive observers of the world, but active participants who bring their own unique voice to the table.
The third line, "We are the sunlight on ripened grain," is a metaphor that suggests that the brothers bring warmth and nourishment to the world. The use of the word "ripened" is significant as it suggests that the brothers are mature and experienced, and have a lot to offer the world.
The final line of the stanza, "We are the gentle autumn rain," is a metaphor that suggests that the brothers bring renewal and growth to the world. The use of the word "gentle" is significant as it suggests that the brothers are not forceful or aggressive, but rather nurturing and caring.
The final stanza is a celebration of the bond between the two brothers. It begins with the line, "We are the laughter in the night." This line is a metaphor that suggests that the brothers bring joy and happiness to each other's lives. The use of the word "night" is significant as it suggests that the brothers are a source of light in the darkness.
The next line, "We are the memories that burn so bright," is a metaphor that suggests that the brothers have shared experiences that are so powerful that they burn brightly in their memories. The use of the word "burn" is significant as it suggests that these memories are intense and emotional.
The third line, "We are the love that will not take flight," is a metaphor that suggests that the bond between the two brothers is strong and enduring. The use of the word "flight" is significant as it suggests that the bond between the brothers is not fleeting or temporary, but rather permanent and unbreakable.
The final line of the poem, "For we are the poetry brothers, and we know the power of words," is a powerful statement that sums up the entire poem. It suggests that the bond between the two brothers is strengthened by their shared love of poetry, and that they understand the power of words to bring people together and create lasting connections.
In terms of language, Hopkins uses a variety of metaphors and imagery to create a vivid and powerful poem. The use of metaphors such as "little birdie legs," "singing rainbow," and "gentle autumn rain" create a sense of beauty and wonder that is both uplifting and inspiring.
Overall, The Poetry Brothers by Gerard Manley Hopkins is a beautiful and powerful poem that celebrates the bond between two brothers and the power of poetry to bring people together. Its use of metaphors and imagery creates a vivid and memorable experience that will stay with the reader long after they have finished reading.
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