The Wreck of the Deutschland: Stanza 5 - Summary

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      Each and every aspect of Nature appears as if God is present everywhere. Seeing the stars and starlight which according to the poet represent God, the poet makes some outward gestures. He kisses his hand to the stars. He thinks that Christ will surely respond positively to the poet’s gesture of worship. God’s glory can be vividly observed in thunder. The purple western sky speaks of the divine presence. Though one can clearly understand the presence of God manifested everywhere but one cannot realize unless one perceives and declares it. The poet greets God arid acknowledges his presence.

Line by Line Analysis

Lines 1-2: I kiss my hand.....To the stars: The poet kisses his hands to the stars which is a gesture considered to be sacred in ancient religion.

Lines 3-4: Wafting him out of it; and.....Glow glory in thunder: The poet gesticulates to the stars in order to waft christ out of them. The stars in the sky represent Christ. The poet is confident that Christ will surely respond to his devoted gestures. God’s glory can be seen both in stars and in thunder.

      Lines 5-6: Kiss my hand to the dappled-with-damson west / Since tho’ he is under the world’s splendor and wonder: The poet also kisses his hands to the western sky which looks purple because of the sunset. It is beyond any doubt that God’s benign presence is everywhere but what is required is realization and also there is a need to announce and pronounce his presence.

Lines 7-8: His mystery must be instressed, stressed; / For I greet him the days I meet him, and bless when I understand: The word ‘mystery’ refers to the presence of God and ‘unstressed’ means perceived. The poet underlines the need to proclaim the essence of the truth and beauty of God and this must be taken for granted.

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