Unit Four : God and Man
God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Heritage of Words
In his sonnet “God’s Grandeur” the poet G.M Hopkins praises the magnificence and glory of God. He describes the majestic deeds of God. He claims that God is omnipresent and omnipotent. The good deeds on earth are also the results of these qualities of God. Though human beings continuously destroy nature, it is never spent.
The world is full of the greatness of God. Due to His greatness, the world shines like ‘a shook foil’. It gathers to greatness, as it is full of resources. Despite this fact, human beings act adversely. They don’t follow the commands of God; rather they function to destroy the world. Earlier generations destroyed the earth and so is the case with the present generation. People are more interested in materialist gain and possessions than in celebrating the glory of a loving, merciful, heavenly Father. They act as if they are not rational creatures. As a result of their deed, the earth has become dry; it has the smell of human beings instead of its natural smell. Indeed the earth has reached to the verge of destruction. Nevertheless, the world is not completely destroyed. Because of the freshness that is inside things, nature keeps on regenerating. The sun sets in the evening only to reappear in the morning. These all happenings are the results of the god’s protection. He protects the earth just like a bird broods over the eggs.
Though the world is infused with the glory of God and Christ offered His body to be crucified, mankind does not live in awe of God, but imposes darkness on itself by running endlessly. Even so, despite humanity’s shortcomings, God is most capable of perfect love and embraces the world anyway. The poet is of the opinion that human beings acts are always directed towards destruction: knowingly or unknowingly. But God loves all the creatures of the world, so he works for the benefit of the creatures without any hope of benefit or profit. The poet inspires people to grow faith in God.
Question for practice :
- Give reasons why men are unaware of the greatness of God?
- What is the central idea of the poem?