Gerard Nanley Hopkins’ Poem “God’s Grandeur”
Gerard Nanley Hopkins’ poem “God’s Grandeur”, illustrates the relationship connecting man and God. Hopkins uses alliteration and stern tone to compliment the religious content of this morally ambitious poem. The poem’s rhythm and flow seem to capture the same sensation of a church sermon. The diction used by Hopkins seems to indicate a condescending attitude towards society.
The first stanza states that we are “charged with the grandeur of God”, or the direct quality of God’s being. This statement begins to express the overall feel or idea of a lecture by stating that society will be held accountable for its actions. Hopkins exhibits his lack of faith in humanity by stating that God’s quality will “flame out” on the account of mankind. He feels mankind will be “crushed” while attempting to bear this burden. He then asks why mankind is not attentive to God’s right to rule. The question proposed, changes the final tone of the last stanza from judgment to curiosity.
The second stanza reinforces Hopkins’ idea concerning the capability of mankind with undertaking such an enormous commission. He states that “Generations have trod, have trod, have trod” (Hopkins 880). This verbal repetition emphasizes the importance of our generations past; that we have destroyed much of the Earth. The diction used in the second and third lines of this stanza seems to illustrate a furious rant by Hopkins. He states that we are guilt...