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God’s Grandeur

God’s Grandeur

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

[…] like shining from shook foil’ (2)

Hopkins tells is he had lightening in mind when he wrote this line. If you shake an ordinary piece of tinfoil, you can see what he may have envisioned. We see a flash of fire, but only a flash. The lines addresses things, which are beautiful, but temporary.

Quote #2

[…]ooze of oil […]
Crushed. (3-4)

The alliterations here sound rich and luxurious, like a massage. Perfume is made from oil. A variety of substances are "crushed" to release their fragrance as oil. Oil is also used in religious ceremonies. Yet, if we take too much oil, we have environmental problem, leaving the earth crushed.

Quote #3

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; (6)

The poet only describes the surface of the world as being polluted. If something is charred, it’s burned all the way through to the core. If something is seared, only the surface is burned. That something is seared, is painful but not fatal. Also in this quotation we see the word, "bleared." Bleared is similar to "blurred." It’s how something looks, not how it is. Again, Hopkins seems to be making the claim that If we stop abusing the earth, the smears will go away.

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