God’s Grandeur By G.M Hopkins
The speaker describes a natural world through which God’s presence runs like an electrical current, becoming momentarily visible in flame-like flashes that resemble the sparkling of metal foil when moved in the light. Alternately, the speaker describes God’s presence as being like a rich oil (such as olive oil), whose true power or greatness is only revealed when crushed to its essence. Given this powerful undercurrent of evidence of God’s presence in the world, the speaker asks, why do human beings not heed God’s divine authority? The speaker starts to answer his own question by describing the state of human life: the way that humanity over the generations has endlessly walked over the ground, and the way that industry and economic pursuits have damaged and corrupted the landscape such that it looks and smells only of men (and not of God). Not only has the land been stripped bare of the natural things that once lived upon it, but even the shoes that people now wear have cut off the physical connection between their feet and the earth they walk on.
And yet, the speaker asserts, nature never loses its power, and deep down life always continues to exist. Though the sun will always fade into the darkness of night in the west, morning will always follow by springing up over the edge of the horizon in the east. The source of this constant cycle of regeneration is the grace of a God who guards the broken world much like a mother bird uses its body to watch over and keep warm its eggs and hatchlings.
1. What is the theme of the poem God’s grandeur?
God is omnipresent.
God is omniscient.
God is omnipotent.
God is creator and preserver.
In this poem, God’s Grandeur, the speaker describes the magnificence of omnipresent god. The poet also shows the contrast between the beauty of nature with the ugliness of industrialization and commercial activity. According to the poet the world is filled with the greatness of the god’s grandeur is reflected like shining from a hammered gold foil. It also accumulates greatness like oozing of oil from oil seeds on pressing them. Despite being about the glory and power of the god, human beings are indifferent towards god which makes the poet feel surprised. Human beings are following the same worthy path being un-mind full towards god’s power to punish them. Everything in this world has been made ugly by materialism and commercial activities because of human beings involved in monetary gain. The freshness and beauty of nature have been blocked by industrial activities and fragrance of nature has been drowning in the foul order (bad smell) that comes from man and machinery.
Despite human activities tending to destroy the beauty of nature, it remains fresh and undestroyed through the soil is bare now because of human beings as the destruction of natural green growth, human beings are insensitive to toes bareness because of their involvement in commercial activities like the feet which cannot feel the softness of soil because of the shoe. The poet says that in the depth of the earth there is a never-ending source of freshness with which nature renews itself when the spring comes. The poet symbolizes the sunrise as the renewal of nature like the bird that broods and protect us despite our unwise activities and indifference towards god because god’s beauty is changeless and eternal.
2. What is the main or central idea of the poem “God’s Grandeur”?
This is the beautiful poem composed by G.M Hopkins. In this poem, the praises the magnificence and the glory of God in the world. The whole world is full of god’s grandeur, but the man fails to recognize it. The world has become ugly, and it has been degraded by mean’s commercial and industrial activities. Everything in the world is spoilt by the people. But the beauty and freshness of nature are never spent. When the spring comes, nature renews itself and makes the world beautiful. The Holy Ghost broods the earth just like a dove broods over its young babies.
3. What is the significance of the repetition of the words “have trod…..” in the poem?
In the poem ‘God’s Grandeur’ the poet praises the glory of God in the world. The whole world is full of god’s grandeur but the man fails to recognize the power of God. Generations of human beings have been following the same path but the men don’t know the grandeur of God. So the poet is angry with the men’s commercial and industrial activities and repeats the words ‘have trod’.
4. How is the glory of God praised in the poem “God’s Grandeur”?
The beautiful poem “God’s Grandeur” is composed by G.M Hopkins. In this poem, Hopkins praises the greatness of god saying that God is almighty and the whole world is full of god’s grandeur and glory. God is the protector of the world and its beautiful nature. Although the world has been made ugly by human activities, it is redecorated by the god. God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. His love, kindness, pity and mercy is continually following upon us even if we don’t pay attention to His command.
5. What do the words ‘bleared, “smeared’, and ‘seared’ suggest?
These words suggest that people are running after work to earn money. They are engaged for profit but they don’t recognize the glory of God. They don’t have the time for god. They have a lack of divine will.
6. Why are people unable to understand the greatness of God?
“God’s Grandeur” is a poem written by G.M Hopkins. He praises the magnificence and glory of God. He claims that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. The world is full of the greatness of God. Due to His greatness, the world shines like ‘a shook foil’. Despite this fact, people are unable to understand the greatness of god because people are too busy with their everyday lives. Human beings act adversely. They don’t follow the commands of God; rather they function to destroy the world. People are more interested in materialist gain and possessions than in celebrating the glory of a loving, merciful, heavenly Father. They act as if they are not rational creatures.
Credit: Dilliram Ghimire