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In The Valley Of The Elwy Analysis

Author: poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins Type: poem Views: 5

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I remember a house where all were good

  To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:

  Comforting smell breathed at very entering,

Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.

That cordial air made those kind people a hood

  All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing

  Will, or mild nights the new morsels of spring:

Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.

Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,

All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;

  Only the inmate does not correspond:

God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,

Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,

  Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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In the humble opinion of the author of this analysis, this poem is both a \"thank you\" for, and a fond remembering of, a time when Hopkins visited the north of Wales. The first stanza speaks both of his time amongst good people who treated him with undeserved hospitality, as well as the memory of the scent of dinner cooking \"off some sweet wood\".
The second stanza seems to be his objective opinion of the atmosphere surrounding the people and the experience; vernal imagery covers this stanza as the \"cordial air\" covers \"those kind people\" as a \"hood\".
The third stanza is the author\'s veneration for the Welsh countryside, which leads me to believe that Hopkins had never visited the area before, and the last line may provide the reason for his visit. The \"inmate\" spoken of in line 11 probably refers to Dafydd Ddu o Hiraddug, a Welsh poet and clergyman, and, being a poet and theologian himself, this description provides a convincing reason for Hopkins\' own interest in the man. This Welsh poet died in 1371 and was interred in the local parish; a few of his works are in extant to the present day, and his accomplishments are fairly noteworthy. It seems probable that Hopkins wanted to visit this site where a kindred soul had walked centuries before.
The final stanza is a prayer of which the first line references the irony of the Gospel: \"lover of souls, swaying considerate scales\"; the scales must refer to justice, and the second line entreats God Himself to bring about the balance of the scales, if there is to be any, which man has upset. The final line speaks of God\'s nature both as a Just master and a Graceful father, which nature justifies Hopkins\' request above. Hopkins finishes this statement of gratitude and fond remembrance for this Welsh valley with a prayer for its ancient priest, which can be arguably extended to himself and perhaps his intended reader also.

| Posted on 2011-09-19 | by a guest

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