Commentary on The Blessed Virgin Mary

The poem is really an extended conceit in the manner of the metaphysical poets, especially Richard Crashaw, another Catholic convert, whose Hymn to Saint Teresa is also an extended conceit, using imagery at times strikingly similar to Hopkins'. Although the metaphysical use of conceits is often seen as difficult to understand, Hopkins felt he was writing a more popular poem than he would normally write – perhaps more ‘accessible' is a better word. The short lines and clearly marked comparisons make it one of his easier poems to grasp, and it has a certain charm, even for those who do not share Hopkins' beliefs.

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