God’s Grandeur
God’s Grandeur
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Sound Check

Read this poem aloud. What do you hear?

This poem has a fresh, breathy sound to it, like rain in a field of flowers. When we hear "shook foil," thunder cracks in the background. We also hear the echo of big machines, grinding and whirring, driving the dull weight of tired legs against dull dry ground. The sound of "have trod, have trod, have trod," makes us feel exhausted (5). Just like we do after the old nine to five job. Lines 5-8 really echo the sound of working, especially what we might expect in a factory with machines. Not only is this kind of work repetitive and desensitizing, but also it is dangerous, and there is a danger lurking amidst the lines. These lines present a frightening vision of the earth and the people who live on it, under the strain of too much industry.

But then the verse becomes fresh again. We revive to the complicated melody of "dearest freshest deep down things" (10). In the second stanza, the poems skips excitedly – it sounds like a someone jumping rope.

And the final lines smooth into moodiness with the word "brood." "Bright wings" has a tinkling sound like glass wind chimes, softened by feathers.

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