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What kinds of mechanics does Hopkins use in "God's Grandeur" that are similar and are...

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lifeinlove | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 26, 2013 at 8:01 AM via web

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What kinds of mechanics does Hopkins use in "God's Grandeur" that are similar and are used similarly by Wordsworth in his "The World is Too Much with Us?"

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 9, 2013 at 11:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Both poems are variations of the sonnet form. "The World is Too Much with Us" employs a rhyme scheme of abba abba cdcdcd. "God's Grandeur employs the same rhyme scheme. This rhyme scheme is different than Shakespeare's abab cdcd efef gg. Wordsworth and Hopkins use a pattern that is more similar to the traditional Italian sonnet popularized established by Petrarch. 

Both poems use the first eight lines (the octave) to set up the proposition or problem and the final six lines (sestet) are used to resolve or suppose a solution to the problem. The slight difference is that Wordsworth extends the proposition to the ninth line and breaks there as a transition to the resolution. 

Hopkins uses alliteration and assonance much more than Wordsworth in this comparison. This makes Hopkins' poem more fluid: 

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Thematically, the poems are strikingly similar. Both use the octave (Wordsworth uses an octave and a half) to state their dismay at human behavior. Hopkins (and/or the speaker) laments how humans do not recognize ("reck") God's instruction but finds solace in the fact that God's grandeur will always be found in nature. Wordsworth (and/or the speaker) notes that humans waste their time on Earth: too much "Getting and spending." With Hopkins' poem, humans are not in step with God's plan. With Wordsworth's poem, humans are "out of tune" with Nature. 

 

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