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The Windhover Summary & Analysis
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Windhover Summary & Analysis
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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"The Windhover" is a sonnet written in 1887 by the English poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins, dedicated to "Christ our Lord." In the poem, the speaker recounts the awe-inspiring sight of a kestrel (a.k.a, a "windhover") soaring through the air in search of prey. The speaker is deeply moved by the bird's aerial skill—its ability to both hover in stillness and swoop down with speed—and sees the bird as an expression of the beauty and majesty of God's creation. The poem's octet (the first eight lines) concentrates primarily on the bird, while the sestet—the second and final section of the poem—discusses the creature in a wider religious context. The speaker ultimately stresses that such beauty is in fact "no wonder," because all of God's creation is divinely beautiful.

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