by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Spring Theme of Religion
The natural world is very important to the speaker of "Spring" but, in a way, the importance of this spring landscape is really as an avenue for contemplating the biblical Garden of Eden and Christ's resurrection, and for experiencing a connection to God. By line 9 of the poem, the physical descriptions fall away, and the poem instead engages on a level of contemplation, questioning and prayer. It's as if the natural world provides a means of entering into an experience of God, and then our speaker moves on to a more direct interaction between himself and God.
Questions About Religion
- Is our speaker's faith a foundation for hope or for despair in this poem? Or is it both?
- How do you read "thy choice" in the last line of the poem? Why does the speaker say this to God?
- How does the biblical account of Eden inform this poem? What about that account is most important to the poem?
Chew on This
Though many Christians often focus on the possibility of redemption after sin, the speaker of this poem appears wholly focused on the idea of keeping the innocent from sin in the first place, rather than redeeming them after their inevitable loss of innocence.