Themes in Pied Beauty

Themes Examples in Pied Beauty:

Pied Beauty 3

"their gear and tackle and trim..."   (Pied Beauty)

Hopkins strikes a tone that is both divine and earthy. The opening phrase, “Glory be to God,” gives the poem a religious register. Yet much of the the subject matter—from cows and trout to landscapes—is common. Hopkins’s praise for “all trades, their gear and tackle and trim” grounds the poem in a rustic reality. The poem’s purpose is to uncover grandeur in the humblest places.

"dappled..."   (Pied Beauty)

“Dappled things” refers to all things dotted, spotted, speckled, freckled, or mottled. The subsequent series of images shows numerous examples of dappled things in nature and culture. The deeper theme Hopkins explores is the great beauty of imperfection. The poem’s ethos embraces the messiness of the world.

"Glory be to God..."   (Pied Beauty)

In addition to his career as a poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins was a Jesuit priest. The questions, longings, and perspectives that arose from his Christian faith are central to his poetry. Often in Hopkins’s work, God is a gateway into an inspired examination of the world. Notice how in “Pied Beauty” the figure of God appears in the opening and closing lines, serving as a bookend to a study of beauty.