Compare the structure and poetic elements of "Sonnet 43" and "God's Grandeur."

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Both poems are sonnets, but Hopkins' is more innovative in its use of language than Browning's. Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. (1806-1861). "Sonnet 43." How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Browning's poem is a sonnet, 14 lines in iambic pentameter, written with an ABAB rhyme scheme ("How"/ "thee," "say"/ "my").

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Both "How do I Love Thee" and "God's Grandeur" are sonnets, poems of 14 lines. Both use rhyming words at the end of lines: Barrett Browning uses word pairs such as "height" and "sight" or "light" and "right," while Hopkins uses words such as "foil" and "oil." Both split their sonnets into two parts: the first part eight is lines, the last six. Hopkins actually breaks his poem with a space after line eight to indicate a pause. Browning indicates the shift by a change in her rhyme scheme from rhyming couplets to ABAB rhymes.

Hopkins is more innovative in his use of language, relying heavily on alliteration and assonance for rhythmic effect. Alliteration means using the same consonant repeatedly at the start of words grouped near each other. This repetition creates a rhythmic effect and draws attention to the alliterative words; assonance does the same with words beginning with vowels. Hopkins's alliteration builds to a crescendo as the poem progresses, ending on the following "br" words: "broods," "breast," and "bright." The heavy use of alliteration in "God's Grandeur" harkens back to medieval and Old English poetry, as does Hopkins willingness to break up the measured 10 beat-per-line rhythm of a traditional sonnet. This gives his sonnet a raw, jagged power. "How do I Love Thee," in contrast, with its even, measured 10-beat lines and reliance on end rhymes is reminiscent of a Shakespearean sonnet of the Renaissance.

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Both poems--“Sonnet 43” and “God’s Grandeur” are love poems. “Sonnet 43” is a love poem toward the narrator’s lover, and “God’s Grandeur,” written when Hopkins was a priest, is a poem showing the narrator’s love for God and his creations. Both poems have standard sonnet rhyme schemes of: abba/cdcdcd

In addition, the authors of both have used repetition for effect. Browning to show the narrators devotion and Hopkins to help illustrate the casual disregard the common man has for God’s creation. Alliteration and internal rhyme have been used to heighten the sound effect of the poems as they are read.

“Sonnet 43” is an optimistic and simple homage to a lover, but it is deep in its intensity. "God's Grandeur" is a little bleaker as it addresses the way in which man is destroying the world because he does not appreciate the grandeur that surrounds him. However, the final part of the sonnet is more optimistic as Hopkins’s believes the magnificence and power of God will overcome.

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Compare and contrast the structure & poetic elements of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnet 43" and Gerald Manley Hopkins "Gods Grandeur."

While both "Sonnet 43" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and "God's Grandeur" by Gerald Manley Hopkins are Petrachan, or Italian sonnets, Hopkins's sonnet more closely follows the structure of such sonnets.  For, in Browning's sonnet the problem is posed in the first line of the octave, but the answers begin with the second line rather than beginning the sestet.  But, in Hopkins's sonnet, the traditional form is followed with the octave presenting the problem of people ignoring God's grandeur continues throughout the octave and is not solved until the sestet in which Hopkins writes of how "Nature is never spent." Hopkins writes that man is spent from trying to save the men from the "smudge and shares man's smell."  In the sestest,  there is hope in the morning that "at the brown brink eastward springs" and " the bright wings" of the Holy Ghost that flies over Nature that is "never spent," giving hope to the reader for renewal.

Also, in contrast to the sonnet of Hopkins, Browning's includes almost no imagery.  Sonnet 43 has almost no sensory imagery; instead the poet relies upon other abstractions: "The ends of Being" or "ideal Grace." And, because of this reliance upon no sensory imagery, the repetition of "I love thee" becomes even more important. On the other hand "God's Grandeur" is explicit because of its imagery:  "flame out," greatness, "like the ooze of oil/Crushed!"

While the rhythm of Barrett's sonnet is regular, Hopkins varies his.  Lines 10-12, for instance are compressed and have an unusual grammatical structure. In Hopkins's lines, there is a variance from 5-6 stresses. Hopkins also varies from the traditional abbba,abba, cde,cde rhyme scheme as his last three lines have the rhyme ded, as do the last three of Browning's sonnet. 

Miss Browning employs repetition and parallelism in her lines, while Hopkins delights in alliteration and assonance.

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