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Pied Beauty

Pied Beauty


by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Pied Beauty Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

The first line tells us that "dappled things" are the most amazing things in the world. The rest of the poem is devoted mostly to explaining what the speaker means by "dappled things." The beauty o...

Form and Meter

"Pied Beauty" has no regular meter. Instead, Hopkins invented "sprung rhythm." In this case, the name says it all. "Sprung rhythm" is like a spring, or more accurately, many small springs scattered...


The speaker is a religious man who has read and absorbed the Christian scriptures. He talks like a priest or preacher. He isn't simply content to quote or recite scripture; he takes his inspiration...


"Pied Beauty" is a hymn that is sung in nature instead of church. The setting is the English countryside. Some nature poems describe the exotic, such as jungles, mountains, and other varieties of w...

Sound Check

Reading a poem in "sprung rhythm" is like driving with someone who has just gotten his or her learning permit. This person hasn't learned to give a steady amount of gas to keep the car moving at an...

What's Up With the Title?

"Pied beauty" is a kind of beauty characterized by mixture, blending, and contrast. To be "pied" is to have two or more colors in dots or splotches. The famous "Pied Piper" was so named because his...

Calling Card

The technique of cramming two words into one hyphenated word like "couple-colour" and "chestnut-falls" is not a recent development. Shakespeare used such words frequently, and so did later Romantic...


In poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the sound is like a thread that guides you through each line. Even if you have never seen a chestnut, you know that when he says "Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls,"...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

In this poem, the "facts of life" have more to do with trout and clouds than with sex.

Shout Outs

Psalms, especially Psalm 148 (line 11)

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