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PIED BEAUTY (GERARD MANLY HOPKINS) SUMMER FARM (NORMAN MACCAIG) 25 th June Class with Mr. Jellyman, Mr. Yes, Miss Thorp.

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Presentation on theme: "PIED BEAUTY (GERARD MANLY HOPKINS) SUMMER FARM (NORMAN MACCAIG) 25 th June Class with Mr. Jellyman, Mr. Yes, Miss Thorp."— Presentation transcript:

1 PIED BEAUTY (GERARD MANLY HOPKINS) SUMMER FARM (NORMAN MACCAIG) 25 th June Class with Mr. Jellyman, Mr. Yes, Miss Thorp

2 Gerard Manley Hopkins Born 1844 in England and died in 1889 Gerard Manley Hopkins was born as the first of nine children to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins At ten years old Gerard Manley Hopkins was sent to board at Highgate School ( ) His last words were "I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life" Pied Beauty was written in 1877 but was not published until 1918 Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous (after his death) 20th-century fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in writing prose (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.

3 Hopkins and Sprung Rhythm Much of Hopkins's historical importance has to do with the changes he brought to the form of poetry; which were quite different to that of the conventional metre of poetry. This structure is based on repeating groups of two or three syllables, with the stressed syllable falling in the same place on each repetition. Hopkins called his own rhythmic structure sprung rhythm. Hopkins saw sprung rhythm as a way to escape the constraints of running rhythm, which he said inevitably pushed poetry written in it to become "same and tame." In this way, Hopkins can be seen as anticipating much of free verse.

4 Pied Beauty GLORY be to God for dappled things For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings; Landscape plotted and piecedfold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.

5 Breakdown of the Poem (a)GLORY be to God for dappled things Aesthetic significance, juxtapositions increase the richness of our surroundings, adding similar words to a description of something increases notice and interest of it. Colour is prominent: Pied, dappled, couple-colour, brinded, stipple (art form) etc. Heres an interesting question: Is the title saying that all beauty is mixed or pied, or that pied beauty is just one kind of beauty? (b)For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; Variations in colour and texture-sensory (therefore physical) The hyphenated couple-colour is key for the sprung rhythm in the poem. (c)For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; All trout swim dont they? The last two words are important for the rhythm of the poem, sprung rhythm.

6 (a)Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings; Here, chestnuts give a different description of beauty, although it is still physical, the idea of a nugget of goodness imprisoned within a hard exterior invites a consideration of essential value in a way that the speckles on a cow, for example do not. (b) Landscape plotted and piecedfold, fallow, and plough; These lines connect the previous musings to human life and activity. It introduces man made things, but then goes on to include these things, along with the preceding list of nature, as part of Gods work. (c) And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. This shows how the poet believes that all things, even man made are beautiful because they are all diverse under the unity of God in a beautiful way. Breakdown of the Poem

7 (d)All things counter, original, spare, strange; The poet says that all things counter, after listing natural and man made things. These things counter each other in the beauty that they have, but they are original creations, and are all beautiful and worthy of awe. (b)Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With fickle and freckled, Hopkins introduces a moral and aesthetic quality, each of which would conventionally convey a negative judgement, in order to fold even the base and the ugly back into his worshipful inventory of Gods gloriously pied creation (c) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; Here we see explosions of energy, although contrasting, are all tied into the pied creation. Breakdown of the Poem

8 (d)He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Gods relationship to his creation is a father-child relationship. God is past change, he is the unity in the diversity of the world. As the world changes, God does not, therefore he will always create beauty. (c) Praise him. The most powerful thing of this poem is that all the listed things which are always changing, are created by God, for Hopkins, the one unchanging being, and all he can do in the final line is to express his amazement in a short, utterly simple and almost breathless line. Breakdown of the Poem

9 Themes Religion: Pied Beauty is a celebration of natural creation bookended by traditional religious expressions of praise and glory. Question: Why does the speaker praise or give glory to God? What does this action demonstrate about the person giving praise?

10 Themes cont. Man and the Natural World: In Hopkins poetry, nature does not exist without man. He doesnt take the view that man exploits nature, but rather Hopkinss landscapes are filled with the tools and marks of humanity just as it is filled with birds in trees. Questions: What images show nature, and what images show man made things? What is the opposite of Pied Beauty? Is there an opposite? What kind of role does humanity play in nature? Does the poem suggest that humans are destined to use nature, even if not in an exploitive way? Chew on this: Although Hopkins clearly sees humans as a part of nature, he also believes they have the responsibility to guide and order nature, which places them in a superior position.

11 Themes cont. Awe and Amazement: The speaker admits he has no idea how the world came to be filled with dappled things. He can offer no explanation but can only describe and admire. Question: How does the speakers awe manifest itself in Hopkins sprung rhythm? Transience: According to the poem, the beauty of the earth is dependent on change. According to the speaker, the only thing that does not change is God (past change). God brings change into the world, like a person slowly turning a kaleidoscope. Question: Why is God past change? And when, then, is change a good thing?

12 Norman MacCaig MacCaig was born in Edinburgh in 1910 and divided his time, for the rest of his life, between his native city and Assynt in the Scottish Highlands from where his mothers family came from. He was schooled at the Royal High School and studied classics at the University of Edinburgh. For the early part of his working life, he was employed as a school teacher in primary schools.

13 Metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. It is concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of being and the world. It relates to questions that cannot be answered in factual terms. i.e. science may tell us how the universe works, but why it exists is a metaphysical question.

14 Summer Farm Straws like tame lightnings lie about the grass And hang zigzag on hedges. Green as glass The water in the horse-trough shines. Nine ducks go wobbling by in two straight lines. A hen stares at nothing with one eye, Then picks it up. Out of an empty sky A swallow falls and, flickering through The barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue. I lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass, Afraid of where a thought might take me – as This grasshopper with plated face Unfolds his legs and finds himself in space. Self under self, a pile of selves I stand Threaded on time, and with metaphysic hand Lift the farm like a lid and see Farm within farm, and in the centre, me.

15 Breakdown of the Poem Straws like tame lightnings lie about the grass -simile Gives the impression that straws are dangerous, but in this case they have been pacified by the environment (lie about the grass) The oxymoron presented here makes the first line of the poem striking, afterall, how can lightning be tame? And hang zigzag on hedges. Green as glass -simile Green as glass, a metaphor, seems strange, as glass is not often thought of as green. However this links to the next sentence, describing the water in the horse trough. The water in the horse-trough shines. This stanza sets the scene of the farm, but also how he describes it in such preciseness while considering the vast scale of nature. Nine ducks go wobbling by in two straight lines. –contrast to lightning Meticulous attention to detail- nine ducks The way the lightning and number of ducks wobbling around are described is interesting, as they are expressions that could startle you, as they make you think again about what they describe.

16 A hen stares at nothing with one eye, The constant use of nothing out of nothing is metaphysical. Foreshadows the importance of the I persona, and shows idleness, but also self opinion. The poet is gazing around absent-mindedly, but at the same time is seeing things in detail. Then picks it up. Out of an empty sky Nothing is described as a tangible object. The stanza has a dual meaning, continuing to describe the poets surroundings but also showing how his observation leads him into deep thought (in the sky) A swallow falls and, flickering through The swallow is a metaphor for his thoughts, free to roam through the sky. As the swallow falls, a thought comes to him out of the empty sky and he gains a flicker of understanding or emotion as the thought is flickering through the barn before it dives up again into the dizzy blue and he loses his train of thought. The word dizzy conveys a sense of confusion afterwards. The barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue. The dizzy blue also makes you think twice about the sky and what thoughts roam there, but also the sea, as the oxymoron dive up is perhaps linked to this. Breakdown of the Poem

17 I lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass, This stanza shows the I persona, and how his thoughts affect the poets identity. In this line, the poet does not want to think about his identity, but his self awareness grows still Afraid of where a thought might take me – as The poet is afraid because thoughts of identity on this farm can be heavy and unproductive. He is afraid of the burden of philosophical indulgence. This grasshopper with plated face Here we are presented with an interesting image, a grasshopper, nature, with a plated face- something man made. It suggests that nature would be hard to read, but instead the stanza goes on to say how it unfolds suggesting it is made clear. Also, perhaps the poet describes himself with a plated face, hard to read for himself. Unfolds his legs and finds himself in space. This shows the unfolding of a thought, the poet is jumping free from himself. Finding himself in space refers to his conscious being above himself as he looks down upon the world and himself within the farm.

18 Breakdown of the Poem Self under self, a pile of selves I stand This stanza shows the poets epiphany: This sense of multiple selves changing over time means that the self as such no longer appears as the enduring core substance of the personality, but an extremely problematic concept which can never be fully comprehended but only glimpsed – there are so many selves that Threaded on time, and with metaphysic hand This sense of loss of identity is the consequence of his metaphysical thought which he was so afraid of in stanza 3. The metaphysic hand is his mind reaching out and looking beyond the farm, lifting the farm like a lid, and seeing the past and future of the farm as well as his own as they are intertwined in the present. Lift the farm like a lid and see Lifting the farm like a lid – an instruction suggesting how the poet asks to open up the mind and see for yourself what is underneath: Farm within farm, and in the centre, me. Farm within farm acts as a metaphor to show a Russian Doll type image; the poet becomes aware of the many generations and many farms that have preceded this one.

19 Themes Identity and Self Awareness: Throughout the poem the poet is fixed on his identity, and how his thoughts scare him. Question: Why is the poet afraid of where a thought might take him?

20 In Conclusion...


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