The poem "Pied Beauty" by Gerald  Hopkins ends the poem with the phrase, 'Praise Him.' Discuss the poem's subject and its meaning.

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gerald Manley Hopkins wrote in the Victorian Age of the nineteenth century.  Hopkins's writing stands out amid the crowd of English poets of this period because his interest was finding the unusual in whatever caught his interest.  In his poem "Pied Beauty," the poet scrutinizes dotted and spotted things and finds them beautiful.

The word "pied" in the title refers to having two or more colors.  That is what Hopkins epitomizes in this poem. 

Hopkins begins as though praying to God, thanking him for providing the world with spotted things.

Glory to God for dappled things--

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

Each line of the poem mentions something the author finds attractive that has more than color:

Line 2-the multi-colored sky compared to a brindled cow

Line 3-spots that look like moles on the side of the trout

Line 4-chestnuts in their green, spiked holders;and the little finches's mottled wings

Line 5-the beautiful English landscapes, whether plowed or uncultivated

Line 7-the tradesmen and their types of gear and tools

Line 8- all things that are different, original or unique

Line 9-anything that is freckled--it is does not matter how it got that way.

Line 10-offering choices of fast and slow; sugary or sour; bright or dim

Line 11-the old with their aged spots

Thank God for all. The poem has gone full circle returning to the original idea of thanking God for all the blessing of dotted, odd things. Hopkins' attitude toward God's creatures implies his love for nature.

As in the story of the Pied Piper, the children were enthralled by the man who played the pipe. The same is true for Manley;  he loves all of nature and on this day, most especially dappled things.



anjali989 | Student

”Pied Beauty” is a poem like a hymn by a victorian age poet, gerard manley, in which he offers us the message that beauty is hidden within, and is a poem in praise of god for dappled things.he praises the god for creation of unconventional things, and unique rare characteristics of them. keeping in line with the theme of the praise of the unconventional things, hopkins uses curtal sonnet in which he miniaturizes the traditional sonnet through which he retains a strict structure in the form of rhyme scheme which is four trecets (abc,abc,dbc,dbc).He uses sprung rhythm with the emphasis of stressed syllables which not only highlights the poet's wonder of nature but also marks again a departure from convention.The structure of the sonnet and the bold rhythm created, himself gives a control over his speed and dramatic effects of the poem.This provides poem with buoyancy and vigour or vitality, and this strange combination of words and unusual rhythm serves us with the poet's art , just as the poet himself is surprised by the art of the creator. Coming back to the theme, the pet conveys the sheer glory of the god for creating dappled things. thus the tone is spiritual and the first line itself the poet draws our attention by saying" glory to be god", it's like a thanking to the god for creating the colorful things in the world. the word "dappled things" means colrful,myraid shades of differnet colours, which creates a pleasent image.Then he goes on to draw our attention to the calm blue-white sky and compares it to the simile "brinded cow" which means a black-white  cow. Hopkins striking a n odd note here by using the "brinded cow" and associating it with beauty. This shows that beauty can be found even in unusal things in the natue. This shows that he is again praising god for dappled things. now the poet draws our attention to the river where the trots swim. the "rose-mole" coloured dots on the trout are "all iin stipple". in art "stipple" means small touches of the brush, so it is as if an artist is painting the dots by the small touches of his it maybe that the artist maybe is the god himself.this is as if the poet is devoting all his art to express his wonder of the god's power. he does so by describing the unconventional aspect in nature.then he draws our attention to the falling chestnuts and finches flying with it's beautiful wings.the striking effect amazing combination of words "fresh-fire coal chestnut falls" it is as if during winter the thorny armoured chestnuts falls ripe and hit the ground which cracks open the armour, a reddish-brown nut is found in it ,just like that he is comparing it with the coals which are black outside and when put in fire they break open and glow red within.this image suggests that beauty is hidden in something that may normally appear dull-normally the beauty is hidden from eyes we have to crack it open to find the "dappled" beauty in winter when fires are made to roast the chestnuts the fire also gives us warmth from the chilly winter so the image has many pleasant sensations associated with it to describe autumn-we think at once of warmth of the fire coals burning brightly chestnuts falling and the autumn landscape with it's many shades of yellow,brown,and orange,red.the "finches wings" are multi-coloured which inturn shows us the multicoloured and multicharacterized world.the finches wings are multicoloured showing the pattern on the country side farms.