how does the poet of "pied beauty" make the poem a vivid description?

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anjali989 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

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The most obvious and most remarkable way that Hopkins produces neologisms is by means of compound words this makes his poem vivid. To produce compound words in English, we simply add together any two roots or stems and, since the roots of a language are virtually limitless, a very large number of compounds are possible. But Hopkins goes far beyond the facility English has for producing compounds and treats English as though it were a language such as Greek or German that has an enormous capacity to manufacture such words. Indeed the Athenian tragedian Aeschylus, whose 'swell and pomp of words' Hopkins refers to, provided a model for the English poet's use of compound adjectives And the principal function of these new compounds in Hopkins is to bring about a very great compression. The vast majority of compounds in English are of the endocentric type where the meaning of the centre is restricted by the non-centre element: gunpowder is powder that is used in guns; garden party is a party that is held in a garden. This type of compound achieves compression by suppressing the relative clause. Hopkins' compounds are sometimes a combination of two adjectives that are co-ordinate, but not linked by the connective 'and': 'kindcold'; 'rash-fresh'; 'lovely-felicitous'; 'wild-worst'. Occasionally, Hopkins combines two nouns: 'martyr-master'; 'knee-nave'; 'heaven-haven'. But he usually produces endocentric compounds where one word is subordinate to another: 'rockfire' is fire caused by rock.


The first line tells us that "dappled things" are the most amazing things in the world. The rest of the poem is devoted mostly to explaining what the speaker means by "dappled things." The beauty of the poem's descriptions is supposed to convey their awesomeness, even if we can't look at a "couple-coloured" sky at the moment we are reading. The examples begin with objects that consist of two colors, but at the end of the first stanza, "dappled" becomes a metaphor for the mixture of different kinds of things.

  • Line 2: The two-colored skies are compared using simile to a "brinded cow."
  • Line 3: The speaker paints a vivid image of the reddish dots on the sides of swimming trout.
  • Line 4: The first half of the line includes an implicit metaphor comparing fallen chestnuts to coals in a fire.
  • Line 5: This line contains imagery related to farming, including the "plotted" land, the sheep-fold, a "fallow" field, and a plough.
  • Line 6: All the trades of humankind are "dappled" only metaphorically. "Dappled" is a word to describe a visual appearance, and jobs don't have a particular appearance. But they are varied and diverse, just like a "dappled thing."
  • Lines 8-9: The speaker uses another implicit metaphor, comparing three sets of contrasts, "swift, slow," "sweet, sour," and "adazzle, dim," to freckles.

the combined description of the aliteration "swift, slow," "sweet, sour," and "adazzle, dim" makes this poem different,vivid.


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tisjay | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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The first six lines (sestet) of this curtal sonnet are  descriptive, while the next four and a half lines are more reflective. "skies of couple colour. . . "; "rose moles all in stipple . . . "; "fresh -firecoal chestnut falls" etc create vivid images of certain aspects of nature which are two-toned. The point the writer is trying to emphasise through the use of vivid visual images, is that variety and difference add to the beauty and perfect of the world.

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