Interesting question. It was nice to read Pied Beauty again, so thank you for the impetus to do that.obnoxion wrote:A question on languege that perhaps some of our native English speakers coild answer;
In his poem "Pied Beauty", Gerald Manley Hopkins makes a comparison between "fresh-firecoal" and "chestnut-falls". I've understood that a dark coal hot with an orange heart is not unlike a dark chestnut that has split open, revealing its brighter insides. But does "chestnut-falls" somhow signify a chestnut split open, or what? By the looks of it, the only thing that comes to mind are waterfalls that are somehow chestnuty, but that doesn't seem to fit... Or does it?
I am perhaps considering it too simply, but I would in the first instance see the comparison between the 'fresh-firecoal' and 'chestnut-falls' as symbolising two things of such different natures being both in the one instance hard and dull on their outer appearance yet bright, rich and warm on their inner.
A falling chestnut I guess by default signifies a chestnut splitting open. It is the fall which cracks the shell, and it only (predominantly) falls when the inside is 'ripe' and ready for harvest. So perhaps also fidelity symbolism(?).
In Genesis, was chestnut sap not used by Jacob to increase the fertility of his flock?