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Carrion Comfort by Gerard Manley Hopkins Gerard Manley Hopkins was a talented poet, and he was also extremely devoted to his own religion. He used his poetry as an avenue in which to express his love and praise to his Creator, and many of his poems are beautiful hymns of adoration. "Carrion Comfort," however, is just one of the "terrible sonnets." Hopkins not only wrote about the beautiful part of religion, but also the questioning and anguish that inevitably comes during a person's spiritual journey. The Petrarchan or Italian sonnet was among Hopkins's favorite forms of poetry and also one he used frequently in his writing. Hopkins appreciated the combination of content and form, and the structure of an Italian sonnet perfectly lends itself to such a synthesis. An Italian sonnet is split into two parts, the octave and the sestet. The first eight lines have an ABBAABBA rhyme scheme and the sestet finishes with CDCDCD. The content of an Italian sonnet is very specifically and thematically organized as is the material of Hopkins's "Carrion Comfort." The octave is divided into two quatrains, which present and subsequently create, respectively, a problem or scenario where the poem focuses. The sestet relates the answer or solution to the issue. The transition between both segments of the poem is easily identified through striking punctuation, or another shift in tone. The octave at "Carrion Comfort" powerfully illustrates intense suffering and despair experienced by the speaker. Hopkins masterfully depicts the transformation in the utter despair caused by this distress to hope and reconciliation with God as he makes a transition into the sestet. Throughout the poem, Hopkins utilizes various different elements, like th...