Hopkins, in the summer before his ordination in 1877, composed many of his nature sonnets, reflections in their way on the structure to be found by contemplating nature's piedness
, variation, and hidden potential--the order to be gleaned from such phenomena as "wilder, wilful-wavier /Meal-drift" (clouds) and "shining from shook foil" (lightning) ("Hurrahing in Harvest," no.
Masked as an old peasant, Polixenes's mode of speech is notably pedagogical: he inquires why the apparently lower-class (though strikingly fair) Perdita would not deign to plant the "carnations, and streaked gillyvors" that, according to her, "some call nature's bastards;" she responds that the plants' hubris offends her sensibility: "I have heard it said / There is an art which in their piedness
shares / With great creating nature" (4.
Perdita responds, "For I have heard it said,/There is an art, which in their piedness
shares/With great creating Nature.
The unfastening of self in "The Wreck of the Deutschland" and "Carrion Comfort," the apocalyptic night and coldness in "God's Grandeur," the dis-membering of nature and historical dis-remembering in "Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves," the "enormous dark" that seemingly climaxes everything in "Heraclitean Fire," and the demise of piedness
registered in countless other poems are all familiar indicators or what Gillian Beer sees as an "entropic movement.