And for All This

Today’s reading, “All for All This” (CUA Primer, page 55), is the sonnet “God’s Grandeur” by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. It is a meditation on the idea that “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” It is to this grandeur of God inside his creation that Hopkins refers when he says, “There lives the dearest freshness deep down deep things.” One might paraphrase this line by saying, “Deep down inside things there is a vibrant and valuable freshness.” However, by compressing the words together more, by saying, “deep down things,” instead of “deep down inside things,” Hopkins uses the form of his words to enhance their meaning. He does the same thing when he describes the sunset at the poem’s end. His technique of shooting words, rapid-fire, one after the other, with connecting words missing, portrays the same kind of vibrant energy that he says is inside everything. It also conveys excitement and wonder. Can you think of other examples where the form of someone’s words enhances their meaning?

Photo: “foil gold” by J E Therlot is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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