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The Donkey Analysis

Author: poem of G.K. Chesterton Type: poem Views: 14

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When forests walked and fishes flew

And figs grew upon thorn,

Some moment when the moon was blood,

Then, surely, I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening bray

And ears like errant wings—

The devil's walking parody

Of all four-footed things:

The battered outlaw of the earth

Of ancient crooked will;

Scourge, beat, deride me—I am dumb—

I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour—

One far fierce hour and sweet:

There was a shout around my head

And palms about my feet.

Submitted by Paul Clayton Smith


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

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| Posted on 2015-08-03 | by a guest

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If the commenter cant get the text accurately, one wonders whether his analysis is valid.

| Posted on 2012-06-07 | by a guest

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The Donkey is an ass because he thinks the shouts were for him.

| Posted on 2012-03-28 | by a guest

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Certainly, this poem points us, not so much to the donkey, but to our \"Beast of Burden\"--Jesus. He carried the burden that no one else could bear--the sins of the whole world. Jesus looked even more \"monstrous\" than the donkey. (Is. 52:14) He was \"starved, scourged, derided.\" Four times in the Gospels He was \"dumb.\" But His hour of glory came when He hung upon the cross. Surely He carries all our burdens and sins away from us and carries His holiness and sinlessness to us. And He still carries His great gifts to us through the lowly means of Holy Absolution, Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, and His Holy Word.

| Posted on 2012-03-12 | by a guest

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most persons have referred to the fact that this lowly, humble and almost un-attractive animal (often called a beast of burden!)was used to transport the Saviour of the world into Jerusalem. Quite true; that was the donkey\'s moment of glory, to be thus chosen. Remember that it was also prophesied that the Saviour ow the world would make His appearance(arrive)into the world, riding on the back of a donkey. But we tend to forget that this Jesus also rode on a donkey for His initial arrival, while he was being carried in utero by His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, on her way to Beyhlehem prior to his birth. The Donkey, truly an honoured, humble royalty of animals. Audley Byer, Barbados, West Indies.

| Posted on 2011-04-30 | by a guest

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The donkkey is a unattractive, dumb, and grotty animal who is a out law to the world. But the donkey has a secret which he will keep still till death as he carnt speak. That secret is that he rowed jesus a very important man on his back through jeruselem. And it is as if it is the devils way of fun laughing and making fun of the dsonkey when actually the donkey too is a very importand creature.

| Posted on 2011-01-16 | by a guest

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The Donkey is derided by men as the most stupid of animals and yet used by Yahweh for the most triumphal journey in the history of the world. It highlights the difference between Gods\' wisdom and mans.

| Posted on 2010-09-06 | by a guest

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Such inspiration that even the grotesque donkey can bear Jesus in glory. Hope for us all.

| Posted on 2010-05-11 | by a guest

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I read the last verse as a child and the whole poem still moves me, as it was intended to do. I don't think it's really about the donkey, it's about all of us and our relationship with God - no matter how humble or crushed in spirit we are, we are all His beloved children and all capable of being raised in glory. As a non-religious person it says to me that nobody is truly worthless, no matter what others think.

| Posted on 2009-12-24 | by a guest

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The Donkey suffers carrying everybody else's burdens and problems but doesnt let others kno of his secret that Jesus know's he is special and that is all that matters. It doesn't matter how less important people treat him as long as someone knows that he is worth riding on.

| Posted on 2009-10-31 | by a guest

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i think the donkey is too hard on himself but knows that there is something wonderful lying ahead

| Posted on 2009-08-17 | by a guest

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(The exact poem runs thus:)
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth
Of ancient crooked will:
Starve, scourge, deride me--I am dumb--
I keep my secret still.
Fools! for I also had my hour,
One far, fierce hour and sweet
There was a shout about my ears
And palms before my feet.
The question, I think, that always seems to wonder me is whether the Donkey is too hard on himself. But the fact that he is so hard is fitting, after all; certainly any of us would be, also, having lived a life in servitude, by the whip and in the uncomfortable sultriness of our own exhaustion. Though all of humanity has elected this animal, this miserable beast of burden, to carry on their deeds with all the responsibilities of a suffering slave, the Christ, however, called him to carry Himself at the very moment when He appeared on this earth, before His glorification, in most kingly fashion. It is, for Chesterton, another paradox: the beast of burden becomes a bearer of the King, in fact he becomes a steed. Man has long enslaved this creature and left him for the worst of things; but the Christ also chose him, and at His final hour, for the best. Perhaps Chesterton is drawing attention to the fact that the ideas of mankind regarding worth and understanding are at times utterly awry, distorted. Pray let the Donkey keep his secret; we cannot for all our wonder take it from him.

| Posted on 2009-07-21 | by a guest

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Just as the donkey is an unsung unloved unattative creature/hero in Chesterton's poem, so too are the humblest, unattractive humans without social connection or the appearance of importance, important in their own right. The donkey remains dumb and does not declare his moment of greatness to those that deride him. Rather his experience is an internal knowledge of his true value.
The image of the donkey in his moment of glory carrying Christ, goes beyond an "every dog has his day" idea, and speaks of the intrinsic worthiness of every human, and the glory of every human soul in God's love. In God's eyes we ALL deserve palms before our feet.

| Posted on 2008-10-31 | by a guest

.: meaning :.

talking about a donkey and riding on his back is jejus. A biblical stroy. The dokey is trying to state how much abuse he goes through yet he has the privalige of riding with jesus

| Posted on 2008-05-25 | by a guest

.: analysis of the donkey :.

The Donkey Analysis G.K. Chesterton critical analysis of poem, review school overview. Analysis of the poem. literary terms. Definition terms. Why did he use? short summary describing. The Donkey Analysis G.K. Chesterton Characters archetypes. Sparknotes bookrags the meaning summary overview critique of explanation pinkmonkey

| Posted on 2007-05-08 | by a guest

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