From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Windhover

The Windhover

  

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Analysis: Calling Card

The Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary

Hopkins used his poems to demonstrate his own philosophy about the world. He believed that everything in the universe had unique individual characteristics that set every object or person apart from every other object that exists or has ever existed. He called these unique qualities the inscape.

Hopkins was also a devoutly religious man. He thought that writing poetry that focused on expressing the inscape of seemingly ordinary, commonplace things—like a bird in flight—would help readers get closer to God. How would you describe the inscape of your coffee mug? Your pencil? Your goldfish?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement