Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is filled with the greatness of God. God’s glory expresses itself in two ways. Sometimes it flames out with sudden brightness when a gold foil is shaken. At other times, the poet thinks of an olive press, with the oil oozing (flowing out) from the pressed fruit. It ooze from every part of the press in a fine film and then the trickles gathers together to form a jar of oil. In the same way, the grandeur of God is found everywhere, trickling from every simple thing in a created universe and accumulating to form a greatness. The poet wonders why people do not care about God’s rod. People pursue their worldly activities without any thought of God’s will and without the fear of god’s anger.
Generations of human beings have followed the same worldly path and have become so habitual to it that they don’t know its uselessness. It has become monotonous due to lack of the divine will. The world has been degraded and made ugly by commercial activity and by hard work aimed at worldly gains. The world bears the marks of man’s dirt and gives out man’s bad smell. The beauty of nature is spoiled by man’s industrial activity and the sweet smell of nature has been drowned in the bad smells that come from machines. The earth is now bare, having lost all living beauty. Man is insensitive to this bareness. Because of the shoes, he cannot feel whether the earth is soft or hard.
Is spite of man’s activities tending to destroy the beauty of Nature, it is inexhaustible. At the bottom of the world there is freshness. This freshness never disappears. When spring comes nature renews itself and thus shows underlying freshness. And although the sun goes down the western sky and the earth is plunged in darkness, the next day will dawn and the sung will be rising again in the eastern sky. Just as a dove with its warm breast broods over its young ones in its nest, so the Holy Ghost broods protectively over the world which is bent in sleep and forgetfulness.