Decorative Initial Although his early "Soliloquy of One of the Spies in the Wilderness" shows that Hopkins could write dramatic monologues in the manner of Browning, Tennyson, and Rossetti, virtually all his extant poems take the form of highly condensed lyrics, usually experimental versions of the sonnet. His forms usually build to some sort of epiphany, moment of vision, dramtic reversal — or all three. As "God's Grandeur," Pied Beauty," and "The Windhover" all show, he chose forms that permitted (or forced) him to find ways of packing multiple meanings in a very brief scope. Elaborate word play or puns and biblical allusion based on typology exemplify two of the ways he combined image with the structure of the sonnet.

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Last modified 3 April 2006