Imagery and symbolism in Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord

The nature imagery that pervades the whole poem is thus less straightforward than in Hopkins' earlier poems, where Nature witnesses to God's presence. Here nature seems much more independent: it gets on with being productive, while Hopkins is totally infertile. He is ‘Time's eunuch'. The Bible talks of three reasons for being a eunuch, that is, someone whose reproductive functions have been cut off. One is being born as such; another being castrated in some way; the third is a voluntary withholding oneself ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 19:12). It might be supposed a Catholic priest would fall in the third category, but Hopkins sees himself as perhaps in the second. Time has castrated him- nothing voluntary here. It is a strong image.

Investigating Thou Art Indeed Just
  • Locate words that suggest growth and creativity.
  • Compare this list with that for (c).
    • Is there any connection, or do we have two separate sets of words and concepts?
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