Analysis of Binsey Poplars by G.M. Hopkins

In this analysis of Binsey Poplars by G.M. Hopkins, we will cover the following key areas.

  • A Brief Background Information
  • Title
  • Structure
  • Subject Matter of Binsey Poplars
  • Themes
  • The Use of Diction and Imagery
  • Other Poetic Devices or Literary Techniques
  • The Setting of Binsey Poplars
  • Binsey Poplars as a Romantic Poem
  • The Meaning of Sprung Rhythm in Hopkins’ Poetry
  • Likely Essay Questions on  Binsey Poplars

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The analysis will take you through the subject matter, themes and poetic devices in Binsey Poplars.

Let’s begin straightaway with the analysis of Binsey Poplars. I will, first of all, give some background information about Binsey Poplars. Next, there is a quick look at the title to be followed by a summary of its subject matter. We will then move to the actual analysis of Binsey Poplars.

Expect nothing but extensive analyses of the themes, poetic techniques and other equally important aspects of the poem.

I trust that this analysis of Hopkins’ Binsey Poplars will be your dependable companion in your effort to prepare yourself (or your students – in case you are a teacher of Literature) for the coming WAEC WASSCE/NECO/JAMB or any similar examination.

Main Point of Binsey Poplars

The main point of Binsey Poplars is that the destructive tendencies of human beings have caused too much damage to the natural environment and, for that matter, there is an urgent need to stop it. We may as well call this the main theme of Binsey Poplars.

Background Information and Title

Here is how the Cambridge English Dictionary defines ‘poplar’:

‘A tall tree with branches that form a thin pointed shape’

  • Please Note: It is obvious that the poet has used ‘Poplars’ and ‘Aspens’ interchangeably. You might want to see more details about poplars and aspens here.

Binsey Poplars, one of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ famous poems, was written in 1879.

G.M. Hopkins (1844-1889), an English poet and Jesuit priest, wrote Binsey Poplars in response to an unfortunate spectacle that unfolded before his eyes when he revisited the small hamlet of Godstow, near Oxford, just a few miles to the north of Binsey.

Hopkins saw, to his horror and dismay, that all the aspen trees that once lined the banks of River Thames had disappeared. The local people had chopped down all of them.

According to Wikipedia.org, G.M. Hopkins’ poem, Binsey Poplars, was inspired by the felling of this row of poplar trees near the village of Binsey.

In the recent past, up to as late as 2004, there had been an attempt to replant new trees to replace Hopkins’ ‘dear’ aspens of 1897.

This brings us to the setting of Binsey Poplars

The setting of Binsey Poplars

The setting of Binsey Poplars is somewhere in the vicinity of the village of Binsey, Oxfordshire, England and overlooking Port Meadow, close to the River Thames. The river provides a serene, and beautiful background to the events over which the poet laments.

Unfortunately, the natural ambience of this beautiful setting has been destroyed, all in the name of industrial development.

Coming next in our analysis of Binsey Poplars is the significance of the poem’s title.

Title and Its Significance: Binsey Poplars; Felled 1879

The title of the poem, therefore, tells us exactly about its very simple but powerful subject matter.

It is obvious that the destruction of the aspen trees represents a bitter experience in the poet’s life. The sense of loss he feels is portrayed in this obituary-like title:

‘BINSEY POPLARS; FELLED 1897’

To him, the trees have been wickedly killed and buried. His poem is a gravestone that stands in memory of the beloved lost trees upon which the words, ‘Binsey Poplars, Felled 1897’ are engraved.

Hopkins might, to all intents and purposes, be feeling so sad about this loss that he wanted to immortalize the memory of the trees in verse.

And, let’s not forget, the exact year of the felling of the aspen tree is mentioned – 1897.

A look at the subject matter of Binsey Poplars forms the next stage in this analysis.

Subject Matter and Meaning of Binsey Poplars

So what is the subject matter of G.M. Hopkins’ poem, Binsey Poplars? Or, better still, what is the poem all about? I’m about to explain the meaning of Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Well, the subject matter of Binsey Poplars, in a nutshell, is this. Binsey Poplars sums up the poet’s reflection and lamentation over the reckless and ruthless destruction of a group of ‘aspen’ trees in a place called Binsey where he once lived.

Going back there after a long period of absence, the poet is devastated when he notices that none of the once lively and beautiful poplar trees near Binsey is still standing. The local people have ‘felled’ all of them.

‘Not spared, not one’

It is this disturbing spectacle that causes the poet to complain and lament over the loss and over man’s destructive attitude toward nature.

Structure of Binsey Poplars – Two Stanzas

One key question we need to answer in any serious analysis of Binsey Poplars is this. What is the basic structure of Binsey Poplars?

The poem Binsey Poplars is divided into just two stanzas.

It is this basic structure that we will follow as we reveal the subject matter of the poem. We shall take a closer look at each one of these two stanzas – one after the other.

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First comes a summary or subject matter of Stanza I.

Here we go.

Binsey Poplars Stanza I

My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,

Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun

All felled, felled, are all felled;

Of a fresh and following folded rank

Not spared, not one

That dandled a sandalled

Shadow that swam or sank

On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank.

Meaning of Stanza I

The first stanza of Binsey Poplars is basically about the poet’s discovery of a shocking spectacle. A group of poplar trees he expected to see on his return to Binsey are nowhere to be found – they have all been ‘felled’.

It is clear that during the last time he was here, the trees were standing.

They were very much alive and provided cover for the waters of the River Thames and refreshing scenery all around.

He can vividly remember the once fresh foliage of the virgin woodland on the banks of the River Thames.

The image of the shadow of branches swimming and sinking in the clear water is still there in his mind.

Note the powerful combination of metaphor, personification and alliteration in these lines.

That dandled a sandalled

Shadow that swam or sank

On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank

Now, sadly, all the aspens have disappeared.

‘Not spared, not spared at all’

All the poet can see on his return is an empty desolate place once covered by the aspen trees.

Let’s continue this analysis of Binsey Poplars with a summary of Stanza Two.

Binsey Poplars Stanza II

O if we but knew what we do

When we delve or hew-

Hack and rack the growing green!

Since country is so tender

To touch, her being só slender,

That, like this sleek and seeing ball

But a prick will make no eye at all,

Where we, even where we mean

To mend her we end her,

When we hew or delve,

After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.

Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve

Strokes of havoc únselve

The sweet especial scene,

Rural scene, rural scene,

Sweet especial rural scene.

The Meaning of Stanza II

In Binsey Poplars Stanza 2, the poet moves beyond his concern for a certain group of poplar trees to reflect, in more general terms, on man’s tendency to degrade his natural surroundings.

Hopkins, in the second stanza, describes and condemns the reckless manner people have destroyed the vegetation around them.

Man has manufactured tools that he uses to easily destroy nature all in the name of industrialization and progress.

‘When we delve or hew
Hack and rack the growing green’

He then compares the delicate nature of the natural environment to that of the human eye (this sleek and seeing ball).

His point here is that just like our eyeballs, nature is so valuable yet so delicate. If we do not take good care of the natural environment we will lose it all in no time – just the same way the eye can become useless when it is harmed in some way (but a prick will make no eye at all).

‘Since country is so tender
To touch her being so slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick will make no eye at all.’

The poet goes further to point out that man is so reckless in his interaction with the natural environment that even his supposedly well-intended actions produce the opposite effect. There are times when we appear to be treating nature kindly only to end up destroying it more.

‘Where we, even where we mean
To mend her we end her,’

Fear for the Future

Now he expresses concern about the bleak future facing generations yet unborn.

When we hew or delve,

After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.

Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve

Strokes of havoc únselve

The sweet especial scene,

Rural scene, rural scene,

Sweet especial rural scene.

He bemoans the rampant destruction of the vegetation saying if things remain the way they are the future generations(‘after-comers’) will never know that once, there was a different, more beautiful and more invigorating environment (‘Sweet especial rural scene’) than the one that has been bequeathed to them.

Thus, the poet, in the second stanza of Binsey Poplars, makes a strong case for the need to treat nature with tenderness, love and care. This will benefit not only the present generation but also those who are yet to be born.

Now that we are through with the poem’s subject matter or summa, we shall turn our attention to an in-depth analysis of this poem by G.M. Hopkins.

Our first stop deals with the theme or themes of the poem Binsey Poplars.

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The Theme of Binsey Poplars

Apart from the main theme of lamentation over the destruction of nature, there are other sub-themes to be discovered in Hopkins’ Binsey Poplars.

You are about to read a discussion of the following identifiable themes of Binsey Poplars.

  • Lamentation over the destruction of nature
  • Man’s destructive tendencies
  • The negative effects of the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840)
  • Concern for future generations
  • Man’s failure to appreciate nature’s value
  • The beauty in nature
  • Fragility of nature (and, by extension, human life)

The Theme of Lamentation over the Destruction of Nature

Lamentation over the degradation of the natural environment is the central theme of Binsey Poplars. Hopkins expresses strong feelings of disgust about the irreparable damage humanity is inflicting on the precious gift of nature.

Being the Jesuit Priest that he was, the poet saw nature as a gift the Almighty God has given to man. But unfortunately, rather than being a good caretaker, man has resorted to harmful activities that obliterate nature.

The wanton destruction of the poplar trees, therefore, represents a much bigger problem. All the other gifts of God such as rivers and the air are being polluted.

Thus, the damage caused by the Industrial Revolution which started some years before Hopkins was born persisted and is still with us even today.

But above all, the poet is not just expressing dismay. He also condemns man’s reckless and ungrateful behaviour.

Man’s Destructive Activities

Another theme of Binsey Poplars is man’s destructive tendencies towards nature. This theme is closely related to the theme of lamentation and condemnation of man’s destruction of nature.

The poet is unhappy with the way man is too eager to destroy all that has been given to him by the creator.

Instead of being a faithful steward of the gift of nature, man has turned himself into a destroyer of what, in fact, gives him life.

So indiscriminate is man’s destructive activities that even the efforts he makes to mend what he has damaged rather lead to greater destruction.

‘Where we, even when we mean
To mend her we end her,’

The Negative Effects of the Industrial Revolution

The unfortunate effects of the Industrial Revolution still lingered on even beyond such romantic poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blake.

This is why later poets like Hopkins saw it as a duty to continue drawing attention to the harm industrialization was causing natural resources like rivers, woodlands and meadows.

Concern for the Fate of Future Generations

We shall now address the theme of concern for future generations in Binsey Poplars.

The poet expresses concern about the fact that the wonders of nature could be lost for good in his lifetime. The destruction could be so complete that posterity would never be able to imagine (guess), let alone experience, the original beauty of nature.

If the present generation continues with its destructive activities, the poet argues, there is no hope for a healthy environment for generations yet unborn.

‘When we hew or delve
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been’

Thus, the poet portrays himself as one with a social conscience. He is grieving, not just over the loss of his own pleasures, but more importantly, about the dangerous effects of environmental degradation that those yet to be born (after-comers) might have to face.

Hopkins uses his poem Binsey Poplars to depict himself as one who cares, not only about his own interests but also for the interest of the entire society.

Again, his concern goes beyond the present generation. The poet sounds a stark warning to his compatriots in the final lines of his poem. Future generations may find it difficult to survive in a world without the trees that are being chopped down indiscriminately.

Man’s Failure to Appreciate Nature’s True Value.

Hopkins laments bitterly over our lack of respect for mother nature. In desperation, the poet cries,

O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew –
Hack and rack the growing green!

It is obvious that no one seems to care about the value of nature. This is why the destruction goes on unabated.

Our analysis of Binsey Poplars now moves to a brief comment on the theme of nature, its beauty and its fragility.

The Theme of Nature

I want us to look at just two aspects of the theme of nature in the poem. These are the amazing beauty that is inherent in nature and the fragility (or vulnerability) of nature.

i. Nature’s Beauty

The poet has used imagery and other poetic devices to evoke the image of the sterling beauty of the natural environment. Metaphor, repetition, alliteration and personification are among the poetic techniques that evoke the beauty and vitality of nature.

Here are some examples for you.

‘On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank’

‘Since nature is so tender

To touch her being so slender’

The shortness of all life

PLEASE NOTE: You can read a further explanation of the theme of nature under the section ‘Nature Imagery’

ii. The Fragility of Nature (and Human Life)

The fragility of nature comes up strongly in the above same lines. The tenderness of nature means that it is so beautiful yet so fragile. This is why we need to ‘touch her’ with care lest it is completely destroyed.

By extension, all life is equally delicate. The poet places great value on both human life and nature. These are both precious gifts of God which must be utilized wisely before their lives come to an inevitable end.

We can therefore deduce from Binsey Poplars a subtle parallel theme of the shortness of man’s life or the inevitability of death. Is the poet afraid of his own coming death?

We will have to leave this for another discussion.

We definitely need to say something about whether Binsey Poplars is a romantic poem in this analysis. So that is our next stop.

Binsey Poplars As A Romantic Poem

Here is another important question for us to answer. Is Binsey Poplars a romantic poem?

Technically, Hopkins’ poems do not belong to the era of famous romantic poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats, Willam Blake, Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The years of the Romantic period in English literature started around 1798 and lasted until 1837. According to the historical records, however, G.M. Hopkins lived for 44 years from 1844 to 1889.

Clearly then, if we go by the time period yardstick, Hopkins’ poems, Binsey Poplars included, do not belong to the romantic period in English poetry.

However, Hopkins proved to be a poet whose writings broke the traditions of his Victorian era and, somewhat, looked back into the traditions of the period of romanticism before his time.

G.M. Hopkins’ poems bear most of the marks of Romantic poetry. For that matter, it is not completely wrong to place some of his poems under Romantic literature.

Consider the following lines from Binsey Poplars. They sound very much like certain lines from ‘The Solitary Reaper’ by William Wordsworth.

Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
Strokes of havoc únselve
The sweet especial scene,
Rural scene, rural scene,
Sweet especial rural scene.

Characteristics of Romanticism

Here are the major characteristics of poetry from the romantic period preceding Hopkins. The fact that a good number of these characteristics of romantic poetry can be identified in Binsey Poplars means that the poem might as well be considered as such.

  • Visionaries – We have seen Hopkins predicting what might happen to future generations.
  • Emotions – There is much to be said about the intensity of the poet’s emotions under the section ‘Mood’.
  • Nostalgia/Longing for past glories of nature. – This is obvious when he mourns over ‘my aspens dear’ that are no more.
  • Deep attachment to nature – We have seen the poet’s strong attachment to nature in our discussions of the theme of nature, the poet’s attitude to nature and nature imagery.

So radical was Hopkins’ poetry for his own Victorian period that no one considered him to be a serious poet. And for this reason, Hopkins’ best poems were never published during his lifetime.

It was only about three decades after his early death that his friend, Robert Bridges, began to publish Hopkins’ most beloved poems that we know today.

There is more to say in our analysis of Binsey Poplars. So let’s keep moving.

I want you to bear this vital point in mind. A question on the poet’s attitude toward nature in Binsey Poplars is very likely. And I will presently help you to prepare sufficiently for that eventuality.

Let’s do it.

The Poet’s Attitude Toward Nature (Trees/Poplars/Aspens)

In Binsey Poplars, the poet demonstrates his deep love for nature. He loves to enjoy a close relationship with nature. It is his strong attachment to nature that makes him return to Binsey. He wants to behold, once more, ‘the sweet especial scene’ only to be met with heart-breaking disappointment.

‘My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
All felled, felled, are all felled.’

The deep love and attachment the poet expresses towards the aspens and nature, for that matter, are further portrayed in the way he personifies nature. He presents nature as an attractive but vulnerable slender woman.

‘When we delve or hew’

‘When we hew or delve’

‘Strokes of havoc unselve

‘The sweet especial scene’

Some of the lines suggest that the poet sees the destruction of nature as being comparable to the violation of womanhood.

The poet also argues that nature is delicate and needs to be treated with utmost love and care.

Trees, for instance, provide humanity with profound benefits and so need to be protected and conserved.

For example, the aspen branches and the air that blows through them produce a soothing effect on the otherwise hot rays of the sun.

‘My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun’

The poet values greatly life in the countryside (rural life).

He is convinced that man’s true and deep connection to nature can only take place in the beloved rural setting where the vegetation (growing green) is so much alive but at the same time so vulnerable.

‘Country is so tender’

‘Sweet especial rural scene’

The Tone of Binsey Poplars

Let’s now look at the tone of Binsey Poplars.

The persona’s tone in Binsey Poplars is varied and keeps changing from shades of care and compassion to anger and then to desperation and dismay.

At once he sounds loving and compassionate, then his tone suddenly turns harsh and angry. On at least one occasion, he sounds desperately emotional.

These contrasting tones in Binsey Poplars conform to the different levels of concern that the poem addresses.

Come with me as I look at all this a bit more closely.

Harsh, Angry Tone

The poet complains bitterly about his compatriot’s wanton destruction of nature. His tone sometimes becomes harsh, angry and almost confrontational.

He cannot understand why man continues to ‘hack and rack’ the environment without which he can hardly survive.

Compassionate Tone

On the other hand, when he refers to the aspens, the poet sounds so tender and compassionate. He employs words like ‘tender’, ‘slender’ and ‘aspen dear’ to convey this tone.

Emotional Tone of Dismay

Again, the poet’s tone in Binsey Poplars often turns emotional. An example is found in the opening lines of the second stanza.

‘O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew’

Here, the poet expresses dismay having realized that his compatriots are oblivious of the irreparable damage they are causing to the natural environment.

This is a desperate call to action. He is imploring them to see reason and change for the sake of nature and posterity.

The Poet’s Mood in Binsey Poplars

The dominant mood in Binsey Poplars is depressingly mournful. We can feel the poet’s agony in his diction, imagery and rhythm.

It is obvious that the poet is grieving. Here are some pointers to this mournful mood of grief and lamentation in the poem.

Repetition

‘All felled, felled, are all felled’

The repeated forward and backward movement of many expressions in the poem creates auditory images that highlight the poet’s grieving mood. Their sounds point to someone in pain and grieving

‘Where we, even where we mean

To mend her we end her’

Poetic Techniques in Binsey Poplars

Prominent among the poetic devices present in Binsey Poplars are the following.

  • Diction and Imagery
  • Analogy
  • Metaphor
  • Personification
  • Metonymy’
  • Repetition
  • Parallelism
  • Alliteration
  • Rhyme
  • Inversion
  • Contrast
  • Apostrophe
  • Sprung rhythm

You might want to take a look at the article below. It documents the meanings of hundreds of poetic techniques and other literary terms.

Figures of Speech and Literary Devices 101 PDF

Diction and Imagery in Binsey Poplars

Like almost every other serious poet, G.M. Hopkins relies heavily on diction and imagery to build his argument and to develop the theme of Binsey Poplars.

Through a careful selection of words and expressions, the poet has largely succeeded in evoking visual and auditory images that point to the beauty and vitality of nature and its unfortunate destruction resulting from human activities.

You can now have the notes on the use of diction and imagery in Binsey Poplars.

Imagery of Violence and Destruction

The wanton destruction of nature is vividly captured in the lines below.

‘When we delve and hew

Hack and rack the growing green’

‘Strokes of havoc’

‘fresh and folded rank’

‘Not spared, not one.’

  • The use of ‘rank’ here suggests an image of the merciless summary execution of mutineer soldiers.

To Hopkins, man has not been a good steward of creation. Human beings appear not to have any clue about how to preserve the wonderful gifts of nature.

Thus, even their well-intended actions designed to undo the destruction only result in greater harm to the environment.

‘Where, even where we mean
To mend her we end her.’

Below are words that depict man’s destructive tendencies and reinforce the theme of the destruction of nature.

End

Hack

Hew

Rack

Havoc

Nature Imagery in Binsey Poplars

This analysis of Binsey Poplars will be incomplete without a reference to the poet’s use of nature imagery. After all, the object that most occupies the poet’s mind is nature and its obliteration by man.

Find the evocation of powerful images of nature and its beauty in the below words.

Poplars

Aspens

Growing green

Rural scene

Country

tender

slender

touch

Wind-wandering

Weed-winding

Meadow

River

Bank

Analogy

Using the technique of analogy, the persona compares the delicate (tender) nature of the natural environment with that of the human eye.

Since country is so tender
To touch, her being só slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick will make no eye at all,

The poet draws our attention to the fact that the vegetation is just as precious and delicate as the human eye.

His objective for using this analogy is to compel his compatriots to see the urgent need to protect the vegetation.

Inversion

‘After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.’

Rhyme

Going according to Hopkins’s revolutionary poetic style, the rhyme patterns in Binsey Poplars are varied and unpredictable. We can hardly call this unpredictable pattern in rhyming a ‘rhyme scheme’.

The rhyming pattern for Stanza 1 of Binsey Poplars is ABACBACC while that of Stanza 2 is a rather unwieldy AABCCDDBCDBDDBBB

Below are examples of the random nature of rhyming in Binsey Poplars.

End Rhyme

‘quelled’ at the end of line 1 rhymes with ‘felled’ at the end of line 3.

In lines 7 and 8, ‘sank’ and ‘bank’ also rhyme.

Internal Rhyme

Examples of internal rhyme in Binsey Poplars are the following.

Hack/rack

Mend/end

Personification

‘sandalled shadow that swam or sank’

‘To touch her being so slender’

‘To mend her we end her’

We have already said a lot about how the poet personifies nature in order to show how precious and delicate it is.

Metaphor

‘airy cages’

‘sandalled shadow’

‘sweet especial scene’

The poet also employs metaphor to evoke images of a lively natural setting before the destruction took place.

‘That dandled a sandalled
Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank’

In the above lines, he paints a bright picture of the lively movements, the sights and the entire scenery of this natural setting.

The ‘sandalled shadow’ is a metaphor for the reflection of the tree branches (as they move to and fro in the wind (‘wind-wandering’) in the clear water underneath them.

Contrast

Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve

Strokes of havoc únselve

The sweet especial scene,

Here, too, we are made to imagine the beautiful natural scenery before the destruction took place. Now, all that beauty (sweet especial scene) has been destroyed (unselve) and replaced by nothing.

Thus, in just a few words, the poet is able to draw a stark contrast between what was and what is. The present is ‘unselved’. All the former beautiful rural scene is gone.

Alliteration

Hopkins makes extensive use of alliteration to evoke auditory images that help to develop the various themes in Binsey Poplars. Below are examples of alliterative lines that create these helpful sound effects for the poet.

‘cage quelled’

‘quelled or quenched’

‘leaves the leaping’

‘fresh and following folded’

‘wind-wandering weed-winding’

‘growing green’

‘sweet especial scene’

Repetition

Another poetic device that runs through Binsey Poplars right from the opening lines of Stanza I up to the last line of the second stanza is repetition.

Repetition is often effective in showing the poet’s deep concern over an issue he holds dear.

Apart from employing repetition for emphasis in Binsey Poplars, the poet also uses it as his way of showing his deep sense of sorrow and loss over the beloved aspen trees that have been wickedly chopped down (felled).

Have a look at examples of repetition in Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The following words and phrases come up frequently in the poem.

Quelled

Felled

Delve

Hew

Where we

Her

Ten or twelve

Sweet especial

Rural scene

Parallelism

‘Since country is so tender

To touch her being so slender’

Apostrophe

‘O if we but know what we do’

Metonymy

‘growing green’

‘Green’ here represents all the vegetation in nature.

What is Sprung Rhythm in Hopkins’ Poetry?

Sprung rhythm is a unique and revolutionary metrical system devised by Hopkins himself. G.M. Hopkins’ sprung rhythm is made up of one- to four-syllable feet that start with a stressed syllable. The spondee takes the place of the iamb.

In sprung rhythm, the number of unstressed syllables varies significantly from one line to the other.

G.M. Hopkins asserts that the intended effect of his sprung rhythm was to reflect the dynamic quality and variations associated with everyday speech. This will obviously be in contrast to the monotony present in iambic pentameter. 

For the definition and examples of literary terms like syllable, spondaic, iambic pentameter, foot/feet, stressed syllable and free verse, check out this post.

Likely Essay Questions on Binsey Poplars

Congratulations. You are a superhero for making it this far. As you can see, we are almost at the end of this extensive analysis of Binsey Poplars.

At this stage, all I want you to do is to take a very good look at these likely exam essay questions on Binsey Poplars. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to provide your own answers to some of these likely questions on Binsey Poplars.

That will surely make our study of this analysis of Binsey Poplars complete.

Let’s have the possible examination questions on Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

  • How does nature influence the poet in Binsey Poplars?
  • Comment on the poet’s use of sound effects in Binsey Poplars.
  • What is the poet’s attitude toward nature in G.M. Hopkins’ Binsey Poplars?
  • What features of romantic poetry are present in Binsey Poplars?
  • Discuss the poet’s use of diction and imagery in Binsey Poplars.
  • Highlight two major concerns the poet raises in Binsey Poplars.
  • What is the poet’s mood in Binsey Poplars?
  • Describe the poet’s tone in Hopkins’ Binsey Poplars.’
  • How effectively has the poet employed analogy in Binsey Poplars?
  • Discuss the theme of nature in Binsey Poplars.
  • Binsey Poplars is a poem of lamentation. Comment.
  • Discuss the theme of nostalgia in Binsey Poplars.
  • Comment on Binsey Poplars as a realistic poem.
  • How effective is the use of contrast in the poem Binsey Poplars?
  • What aspects of public life are portrayed in Binsey Poplars?
  • Highlight G.M. Hopkins’ use of metaphor in Binsey Poplars
  • How has the poet’s use of alliteration and repetition helped in your understanding of Binsey Poplars?

Wrapping it all up

Kudos for staying with me through this epic analysis of Binsey Poplars. I truly appreciate it. I would strongly suggest that you take a quick look at the analyses of the remaining WAEC/NECO/JAMB non-African poems as well as their African poetry counterparts.

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