Synopsis of Pied Beauty

A mini sonnet

This is an example of a mini-sonnet, or curtal sonnet as they are sometimes called. Taking the 8:6 ratio of the full sonnet, this is sized down to 6:4.5. In fact, the final line of all is barely half a line, but the other proportions are correct. The lines are also cut back to size, only very rarely exceeding the strict pentameter length of the traditional sonnet, unlike in many of Hopkins' other sonnets.

A poem of celebration

Pied Beauty was written in the same year as The Windhover, probably only a few months after, but what a contrast! In its straightforwardness, it is probably a good sonnet with which to begin the study of Hopkins. Its simplicity comes from its lyrical impulse. Hopkins has no problem or difficulty to work through: he is just celebrating the difference and variety in nature, and giving thanks to God for creating the world like that.

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