The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs— Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
This is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). Hopkins was a priest, and many of his poems have religious elements. If you remember the last post about sonnets, you may be interested to know that it is a sonnet of the Petrarchan (or Italian) type: its rhyme scheme is abba abba cdcdcd. But what I would like to talk about is the sound of the language.
Listen to an excellent reading of the poem here. Even if you don’t understand all the words and phrases, can you hear some interesting sounds? Hopkins, the poet, uses several methods to give his poem interest and a kind of verbal music.
Many languages and cultures have rich poetry traditions. English is no exception. In this article, I want to introduce to to one example. I’ll also explain a few things that will help you understand English language poetry better.
Here is one of my many favorite poems:
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries And look upon myself and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d, Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate; For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Some students get very nervous during tests. You may study hard and know all the information or be comfortable with the skills, but you get so anxious during the test that you forget what you studied. After this happens to you a few times, remembering the last test may make you even more anxious about the next one! Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help.
In class (Pre-Uni C), we discussed an assignment in which every student will give a very brief, quick presentation about his or her topic, then all students will display a poster and talk to visitors about their topics. Above is an example of a “Research Slam” Powerpoint. Your photo sources will be included in your printed source list, separate from the Powerpoint.