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Poetry Analysis on Binsey Poplars by Gerard Hopkins

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Introduction

Poetry Commentary on Binsey Poplars by Gerard Hopkins In the poem Binsey Poplars, Gerard Hopkins presents his reaction to the situation of the destruction of a landscape. In this poem, he mourns how easily humans can destroy the natural world, without realising the implications of their actions. With the use of poetic figures, strong images and an overall feeling of anger and nostalgia, Hopkins portrays his love for the trees and his grief at their destruction. In the first stanza, Hopkins speaks of what nature was like before it was destroyed. Using tender words such as "aspens dear", the poet laments the destruction of the delicate trees, whose beauty is not only conveyed in their appearance, but also in the way they formed "airy cages" to tame the "leaping sun". Hopkins uses repetition to state that these lovely trees are "all felled, felled, are all felled" and introduces the sprung rhythm by grouping accented words together to create an onomatopoeic effect. ...read more.

Middle

The poet offers a personification of the earth by presenting strong images of its given human characteristics, when he says that the earth is so "tender" and "her being so slender". Hopkins advances to present an analogy between the earth and the eye, a vital organ whose system is powerful but delicate, by displaying the painful image of the pricking of an eyeball, which indicates that when the trees disappear from our sight, the effects are as tragic as the loss of our own vision. Here, Hopkins makes it clear that the consequence of this is that we are just as much damaged as the landscape, because not only will the landscape no longer be present, but we will no longer be able to see it, as if it was a punishment for our actions. This evokes that for Hopkins, the natural world is a reflection of God, thus explaining his strong reaction towards the destruction. ...read more.

Conclusion

While describing the beauty of the aspens, Hopkins pays special attention to the way they interact with and affect the atmosphere around them, which provides us with elaborate imagery and a sensitive tone regarding the poems topic. What I am particularly fond of in this poem is how Hopkins modifies and invents words to create interesting poetic figures, for example when he used the word "dandled" instead of "dangled" just to create an internal rhyme. In my personal opinion however, I find it most interesting how Hopkins is not only speaking of a destroyed landscape which he had known since his early life, but also making a more general statement about the way in which humans interact with the environment, predominantly nature. We are able to see that his greatest concern is how humans are too greedy to be aware of the implications of their actions, and will eventually destroy all of nature without realising how much it will affect them. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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