Poem study 3- Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1877) 'Binsey Poplars'

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Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in 1844 to devout Anglican parents who fostered from an early age their eldest son's commitment to religion and to the creative arts. Hopkins was born in Essex, England, in an area that was then being transformed by industrial development. His mother was well-educated avid reader. His father wrote and reviewed poetry, yet it was new published. From 1854 to 1863 Hopkins attended Highgate Grammar School, where he studied under Canon Dixon, who became a lifelong friend and who encouraged his interest in Keats. He then attended Oxford where he studied Greek and Latin. He died of typhoid fever in 1877 in Dublin City.

One of Hopkins's most famous and most debated assumption centers on the concept of "inscape." He coined this word to refer to the essential individuality of a thing, but with a focus not on its particularity or uniqueness, but rather on the unifying design that gives a thing its distinctive characteristics and relates it to its context.

Hopkins was interested in the exquisite interrelation of the individual thing and the recurring pattern. He saw the world as a kind of network integrated by divine law and design.

'Binsey Poplars' was published in 1918. It is a dirge for a landscape that Hopkins had known intimately while studying at Oxford. It holds lots of atmosphere and scenery words, for example, 'the leaping sun'- this means that the sun seems to be interacting with the environment. In line 3 of the first stanza, he uses 'felled' 3 times. He does this to try and convey sounds of an axe striking a tree. Hopkins sees natural objects like an expression of Gods creation and uses 'selve' to capture that. This poem is about the love for nature that Hopkins feels inside him and...