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Comparison between "Pied Beauty" and "Song of Myself"

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The theme of beauty is featured in the poems "Pied Beauty" by Gerard Manley Hopkins and from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman. Both poems focus on ideas of harmony within and between nature and humanity to express the theme of beauty. Through the use of literary devices such as personification, imagery and sound, the theme of beauty is presented in these two poems. Gerard Manley Hopkins opens "Pied Beauty" with "Glory be to God for dappled things", alluding to a prayer by taking on a religious tone and celebrating the harmony of God's creations. He further elaborates with examples of the 'things under his category of "dappled", presenting the reader with imagery such as "Skies of couple colour as a brinded cow". The reader is left to imagine the magnificent creations God will place on earth in the future, just as "Glory be" unites all his beautiful creations beyond the divisions of the past, present and future. ...read more.


Hopkins also describes variation, in the form of colour tones and texture, showing how contrasts and variety increase the richness of ones surroundings. The mention of "fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls" introduces the principle of the plain exterior and the deeper, internal significance. Through the description of the firecoal, the idea of a richness imprisoned within allows Hopkins' reader to consider the deeper value of all creation. The image transcends the physical face value, and Hopkins implies that the physical links to the spiritual and meditates on this dual relationship, leading to a deeper appreciation of beauty. Walt Whitman emphasizes the power and beauty of nature, declaring that humanity, represented by the human title of "president" "is a trifle". He continues to personify the night as "tender and growing", further bestowing titles to the night such as "night of south winds- night of the large few stars". The musical quality through Whitman's extensive use of repetition and rhythm is reflected through his accurately composed sentences. ...read more.


Within "Pied Beauty" Hopkins use of sound is evident in his sentences. "Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings" alliterates several times and beauty of the neologism in Hopkins' compounded words such as "Fresh-firecoal" is allowed to be appreciated by the reader. Gerard Manley Hopkins also creates a rhetorical question "Who knows how" in which the vowel 'o' is pronounced differently. The beauty of the different pronunciations in language is further enhanced by the anonymous nature of 'who', targeting a universal response from all. The musical repetition of sounds throughout the poem such as "dappled and stipple, tackle and fickle" reflects the creative act the poem glorifies, the intertwining of diverse beings into a beautiful whole. Through the poems "Pied Beauty" and "Song of Myself" the poets Gerard Manley Hopkins and Walt Whitman have presented to the reader different ways of appreciating beauty, linking back to the common theme of beauty. By the end of the poems, the reader is allowed to further explore the nature of beauty and the harmony between all that it results from. Miriam Chew ...read more.

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