Analysis Of Gerard Manley Hopkins 'Poem Carrion Comfort'

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In a time of deep unrest during Gerard Manley Hopkins’ life, a point in which he both loved, yet combated with God, he produced the poem “Carrion Comfort”. The title of said poem was not given by Hopkins, but rather by his friend Robert Bridges (Gerard Manley Hopkins). Nevertheless, the title stands as an overall outlook for the poem to come, for it provides a sense of conflicting imagery, as well as a sense of darkness. “Carrion” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is, “the decaying flesh of dead animals” (“Carrion”). Ironically this word is paired alongside “comfort”, however, there is seemingly no connection of the two. “Comfort” is a word used to elicit a sense of ease and contentment, whereas, “Carrion” is used more often to provoke …show more content…
Nevertheless, life was hell bent on breaking his spirits to the degree he would stand to utter, “O thou terrible” (line 5). This line is directed to God, whom in various other poems he explicitly lifted in praise and trust (Pied Beauty; God’s Grandeur; My Own Heart). Here Hopkins is sent into a flurry of accusations against the God he once loved. He inquires upon why God in all the Lord’s powers to control the world, would violently attack him instead of the other evils of the Earth (line 5-6). Hopkins seemingly demands answers as to the reasoning behind such torturous abuse throughout the following two lines. All the while he continues his imagery of depicting God to be a dark and lowly creature saying, “scan with darksome devouring eyes” (line 6-7). Through this imagery, Hopkins is capable of forging a God the way he views him, as ominous and ruthless. In turn, this provoking of such pictures causes the readers to formulate a greater understanding of this terrifying omnipotent being. In a sense, Hopkins elicits a feeling of betrayal for all Christians who were raised on a belief of the Lord being merciful, for look what he has done to this seemingly undeserving man. This betrayal is not dissimilar to the emotion it is expected of Hopkins as a poet to of felt while he scrawled these words. To conclude the stanza, Hopkins writes, “O in turn of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?” (Line 8). Yet again, the purpose of this line is to conjure a sense of pity upon the poet, as he is crumpled upon the ground. This idea of being fallen, of still being frantic to escape God, is alluding to a sense of innocence because even on his knees God’s wrath is still coming upon him. The entirety of this stanza is overflowing with emotions and resentment towards God. Nevertheless, Hopkins

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