An Analysis Of Hopkins's Poem Spring

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At first, Hopkins’s poem, “Spring,” is noticeably about the season of Spring. However, in considering Hopkins’s Catholic Christian background, I believe this poem is about beauty and the problem of sin in relation to the creation story in the book of Genesis about Adam and Eve. “Spring” is a Petrarchan sonnet split into an octet and sestet and is organized in such a way to allow Hopkins to discuss beauty and the problem of sin, accordingly. This problem of sin is identifiable in the sestet, which corrupts the theme of the beauty of Spring in the octet. I believe Hopkins uses these two themes to show that the problem of sin corrupts the beauty of nature but that Christ is victorious over sin. The octet discusses the beauty of Spring, which …show more content…
This definition is crucial in understanding the poem because the poem then takes another turn by referring to Jesus Christ and how He undoes ‘the Fall’ of Adam and Eve (where they ate of the forbidden fruit) by being nailed to a cross and crucified. Similar to how the beauty of Spring is temporal, the beauty in the Garden of Eden does so as well after the Fall by becoming “sour with sinning” (line 12). Furthermore, Hopkins refers to Christ’s crucifixion as being “worth the winning,” or a victory, which makes the Fall a defeat. This notion of Christ’s crucifixion as a victory is known in Christian theology. Catholicism celebrates paradoxes as a way to come to know truth, and this belief that Jesus’s death, an apparent defeat, would bring victory is one that Hopkins would be familiar with as a Jesuit Catholic priest. Hopkins also alludes to Christ in the beginning of the poem by showing lambs racing (line 8). In Christianity, Christ is referred to as the ‘lamb of God’ and this presence of lambs alludes to His presence in the world at the Incarnation where He became human. Furthermore, Jews slaughtered lambs as sacrifices to God in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament thus prefigures Jesus as the ‘lamb of God’ in that He is the sacrifice for the sins of Adam and Eve and of the entire world. Similar to how …show more content…
The love of sin focuses how sin is pleasurable, and the speaker is experiencing pleasure by experiencing the beauty of Spring. This experience of beauty prohibits the speaker at first from realizing that the beauty will not last, just as Christianity states that the love of sin blinds people to the truth. The Christian view of someone being in the state of sin is synonymous with their spiritual death, just as after sin enters the world through Adam and Eve, death becomes physically present in nature. Lastly, the results of sin in Christianity involve death and separation from God. However, with the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity believes that sin and death are defeated. Considering these numerous allusions to Christianity, I believe Hopkins’s poem, “Spring,” is more than just a poem about the beauty of nature. Through analyzing it with a Christian perspective since Hopkins was a Jesuit Catholic priest, it is clear that these allusions and inferences of Hopkins describe how, to Christians, Jesus Christ is the victor over death and solution to the problem of

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