Windhover By Hopkins Essay

In Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Windhover” there is a sort of
representational allusion to Christ and Jesus. In other words the speaker
praises the Lord by praising what he takes as a symbol for Christ, the windhover
himself. Through out the poem the speaker symbolizes Christ’s glory by the way
the falcon reacts to the air how it maneuvers and even charcteristic traits of
the falcon species. One could only appreciate the glory of the Lord more after
interpreting the poem. The poem is subtitled “To Christ our Lord”
because the falcon reminds him of Christ. The speaker continuously hails one of
God’s most stunning creatures, the falcon. He is flabbergasted at the
magnificence of the windhover’s flight. He wonders at its colorful feathers and
the sheer speed of its flight. His tone suggests that he is in awe…he is
observing something equivalent second coming of Jesus or angels walking among
regular men. He throws out a barrage visual imagery to try to describe the
windhover and still does not seem to come close to its real magnificence. He
wonders how such a creature could exist but is eventually just filled with glee
in knowing the fact that it does exist. In the first stanza the speaker states
that he spotted the morning’s minion as if to suggest that the falcon was some
how subservient to the morning. He suggests that there is some sort of royal
heiarchy by using words that recall images of sovereignty. Once the reader
scratches the surface of the first stanza he can begin to understand the
remainder of the poem. The second stanza takes a different stance on things. The
windhover is out maneuvering when a smoothly and suddenly dives. The speakers is
scared for the birds’ safety but is pleasantly surprised when the bird is lifted
by a huge wind. One can say that in times of foolish pleasure he can fall but
Christ will always lift be there to lift him back up. Christ is thus the cushion
needed for even a temporary fall from grace. Stanza three uses a barrage of
descriptive words to denote the dignity of such a creature. In the animal
kingdom it would be considered king of the roost. The speaker call the windhover
a chevalier meaning knight or in other words a savior. Christ is also considered
a savior. The speaker compares the bird and Christ with the hard work of the
plow that creates a furrow and displays the wet soil underneath and burned
embers that shine red-gold when split open and burn with fire. That is directly
comparable to assumption that the speaker was leading a dark life until the Lord
stirred up his life, split open his dark shell and helped him to shine with a
new vigor for life. Christ could be seen in nature in the windhover’s existence.

He is symbolized in all the actions of the falcon and also represented in its
charactaeristics. The speaker praises the Lord by his amazed praise and
represented in its characteristics. The speaker praises the Lord by his amazed
praise and appreciation. What he seems to be saying is that Christ exists in
even the smaller details in life and all we have to do is observe them
periodically to know that Christ lives on.

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