# Summary of Pied Beauty poem written by G. M. Hopkins
Pied Beauty is a short poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Victorian poet who is known for his innovative use of language and imagery. The poem is a curtal sonnet, which means that it has 10 and a half lines instead of the usual 14, and follows a rhyme scheme of ABCABCDBDC.
The poem is a hymn of praise to God for creating a diverse and beautiful world. The speaker admires various things that are “pied”, meaning spotted, speckled, or variegated. He lists examples from nature, such as the sky, cows, trout, chestnuts, and birds’ wings, as well as from human culture, such as ploughed fields and different crafts and trades. He sees God’s glory not only in the contrast and harmony of colors and shapes, but also in the abstract qualities of change and constancy.
The poem expresses Hopkins’s belief that everything in nature reflects God’s presence and power. He uses unusual words and phrases to capture the essence of each thing he describes. For instance, he calls the sky “couple-colour” to suggest its changing hues throughout the day; he calls chestnuts “fresh-firecoal” to evoke their bright red color; he calls finches’ wings “fickle” to imply their swift movement.
The poem also shows Hopkins’s mastery of sound and rhythm. He uses alliteration (the repetition of consonant sounds) to create musical effects, such as “fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls” or “fold, fallow, and plough”. He also uses stress patterns (the emphasis on certain syllables) to create variations in pace and mood. For example, he slows down the last line by using four stressed syllables (“Praise him”) followed by two unstressed ones (“he is”).
Pied Beauty is a poem that celebrates the richness and complexity of God’s creation. It invites us to look at the world with wonder and gratitude for its diversity and beauty.
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