Gerard Manely Hopkins’s use of language in his poetry

It is undeniable that Hopkins’s style of poems are distinct. It can be seen as metaphysical and intricate as seen in As Kingfishers Catch Fire where Hopkins jumps from one image to another in order to portray the individuality and uniqueness of one as well as reflecting itself throughout all. Through the concentration of images, it is possible for him to communicate the instress of the poet’s perception of an inscape to the reader. Due to the fact that Hopkins was a supporter of linguistic purism in English, his dedication to learning Old English highly influenced his writing.

His added sophistication comes from regularly using alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia and rhyme as seen for example in the first stanza of As Kingfishers Catch Fire:

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

The reliance of same sounding words are fully emphasised when read aloud. It can also be said that Hopkins’s poems are better understood when also read aloud. The idea of inscape is uncertain and typically known to be one of Hopkins own ideas. This idea is expressed through the individual essence and uniqueness of a certain object. Through the inscape as seen in his poem The Windhover, it aims to describe not only the bird in general but the one instance and the relation to the breeze. Without a doubt, The Windhover was one of the most proudly written poems according to Hopkins he has ever wrote.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply