The Windhover Poem Analysis

819 Words4 Pages
A devout Jesuit, Gerard Manley Hopkins has spent most of his life searching for the perfect balance between committing oneself completely to Jesus Christ and pursuing his passion for poetry, ultimately using the latter as a means of expressing his beliefs about the son of God. These beliefs are found in his poems, among the most notable ones being The Windhover and Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord. However, whereas in Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord, which is explicitly addressed towards Christ, the messianic theme in The Windhover is implicit. At a surface level, ‘The Windhover’ seems to have a quite simple content. The poem depicts the mere admiration of a falcon soaring through the skies. The term ‘windhover’ itself is one attributed to the kestrel, a type of falcon known for its ability to hover through the air as it searches for prey. However, ‘The Windhover’ is much more complex, for it features an underlying religious character. As Stephen McInerney points out, Hopkins discerns Christ in nature, more especially in living beings who emerge from nature in God’s image (43). If the poem’s epigraph is taken into consideration it becomes apparent that the falcon as well as the poem itself, serve as a metaphor ‘for Christ our Lord. As such, the admiration for the bird of prey becomes a proxy for the admiration of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is portrayed not only as a minion, but also as a dauphin. He is God’s heir, a being residing on another plane of existence, as does the windhover,
Open Document