Gerard Manley Hopkins

"The Windhover: to Christ our Lord"

The windhover is a falcon or kestrel.  It can hover in the wind by vibrating its wings, glide sideways, and dart for prey.

The poem is a sonnet

  • The octet (1st 8 lines) focus on the bird in flight
  • The sestet (last 6 lines) moralizes.
  • This poem has a Walt Whitman quallity, with Hopkins praising the bird through lists.

    The windhover is dappled & moving.  As in Pied Beauty, it is changeable but to Hopkins reflects the unchanging universe & reminds him somehow of "Christ our Lord"

    Something shines through common things & common life:

    "Pied Beauty"

    "[Carrion Comfort]"