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by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Stanza 2 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Line 9

What is all this juice and all this joy?

  • This almost seems like the first line of the poem, in that it appears to be laying out a sort of theme for the lines that follow. What to make of all this overflowing of life?
  • "Juice" is another word that reinforces the lushness of the scene and the season. And the word "juice" helps give a physical grounding to the broader idea of joy.
  • Our speaker is wondering how to explain or get a handle on all the joys and growths of spring.
  • His confusion seems to hint at some underlying concern, or at the fact that the world is not always like this spring scene.
  • After all, if everything were always lush and joyful, it would hardly occur to the speaker to ask a question like this.

Lines 10-11

A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
in Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy

  • According to the speaker, spring is a lot like the good old times in the biblical Garden of Eden.
  • Here we get our first completely explicit Judeo-Christian allusion. Our speaker is comparing the bounty and joy of spring to the sweetness and bounty of the Garden of Eden.
  • The last part of this carries on to the next line, so let's keep reading.

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