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A Short Analysis of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s ‘Spring’

A summary of a Hopkins poem

‘Spring’ is not as widely known as some of the other sonnets written by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89), which is a shame: it’s a powerful evocation of the beauty of spring. It is that season, Hopkins reminds us, ‘When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush’. Here is ‘Spring’, followed by a brief analysis of it.

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning. Read the rest of this entry


A Short Analysis of Keats’s ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’

A summary and analysis of a classic John Keats poem

‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ is a sonnet composed by Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821) in October 1816, when he was just 20 years old. The poem focuses on Keats’s initial encounter with an English translation of Homer’s poetry by George Chapman (c. 1559-1634), likening the experience to that of an astronomer discovering a new planet or an explorer sighting an unknown land.

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Read the rest of this entry

Interesting Facts about the Sonnet

A short history of the sonnet form, with some fun facts about its development

Writing an introduction to the sonnet throws out a number of questions, so in this post we will ask what might be considered the essential questions about the sonnet form, and provide some answers. Who invented the sonnet? What form does the sonnet take? These sorts of questions. They actually throw out some surprising answers… Read the rest of this entry