Study Guide

Pied Beauty Tough-O-Meter

By Gerard Manley Hopkins


(3) Base Camp

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," he is talking about a "dappled thing" that is part of nature. His language is loaded like a spring, but his ideas are not complicated. That's it. Aside from a few lesser-known words like "brinded" and "stipple," there is not much to trouble even a new reader of poetry.