Questions and Answers from “Pied Beauty” by Hopkins

1. Mention some of the dappled things referred to by the poet.

Ans: In his poem, Pied Beauty, the poet, G. M. Hopkins, has referred to a number of dappled things. He has beautifully and serially cataloged all these varied objects, and these are the sky with double colour, the streaked cow, rosy spotted trout fish, the wings of the finch birds with different and divergent hues.

2. “And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.”-What are gear, tackle, and trim? Why are they mentioned in this sentence?

Ans: Gear, tackle, and trim are instruments which are used in connection with a ship. Gear is a set of toothed wheels that regulates the speed, pace or velocity of the ship. Tackle is a set of ropes and pulleys for working a ship’s sails or for lifting weight. Trim is the method of arranging cargo, passengers, etc. in a ship to make the ship evenly balanced. These things have been mentioned here to indicate the diversity of objects used in industry or factory that manufactures sailing vessels.

3. “He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change”-Explain the significance of this line.

Ans: The poet wants to tell that God is the creator of all bright and varied beautiful and charming objects of Nature. The beauty of Natural objects changes. It is not permanent. But God, who is the source of all things which go on changing constantly is no subject to change. His nature and beauty are eternal and everlasting. He who creates all changing and volatile objects is himself beyond any change. The note of paradox is noticeable here.

4. What kind of sonnet is Pied Beauty?

Ans: Hopkin’s Pied Beauty is a unique kind of sonnet named curtail sonnet. A sonnet is usually a poem of fourteen lines, but Pied Beauty consists of ten and a half lines. It is a specific genre that has been solely created by Hopkins. ‘Curtail’ sonnet is a shortened form of the sonnet, and it also contains a rhyme scheme which is markedly different from other traditional sonnets, both Petrarchan and Shakespearean.

5. Explain the line, “with swift, slow, sweet, sour, a dazzle, dim”.

Ans: This line highlights the contrast or paradox, which is inherent. The poet has talked about things and objects in the world of God which are apparently and outwardly contradictory. There are some objects which are swift while others are slow in motion or movement. Some things are sweet, and the others are sour or bitter. There are certain things in nature which are bright, whereas others are not bright or brilliant. Therefore, the world of God is full of the contrary, contradictory and paradoxical elements and objects.

6. Explain the line, ‘whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)’.

Ans: In this line, the poet-speaker, Hopkins admires or appreciates the fickleness or frailty of different objects of nature but
simultaneously he puts forward a thought-provoking metaphysical question. He wants to tell that there is hardly anyone who can explain or illustrate the reason for the changing nature of the different objects of nature.