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The Windhover
The Windhover
by Gerard Manley Hopkins


We’ve got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you’ll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(7) Snow Line

This is a short poem, but it's a steep climb: Hopkins uses unfamiliar words, mixes up sentence structure, and uses familiar words in totally unexpected and unfamiliar ways. He even makes up words entirely. It's easy to get winded as you make your way through the metaphors and allusions of this poem, but take a quick breather with Shmoop—you'll find that the view from the top is well worth the difficulty.

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