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Carrion Comfort- “Carrion Comfort” is a dark poem with a very unpleasant undertone and expresses melancholy, like many

of Hopkins major works. The poem is a
rejection of despair and represents the poet’s anger towards the almighty for bestowing the despair on the beings who have been loving and faithful towards him.

Summary of Carrion Comfort-
“Carrion Comfort” is a dark, melancholy poem which represents the poet’s internal battle with his lifelong beliefs, his struggle with depression, the consequent despair
and his dwindling faith on God. The speaker starts the poem by making a declaration of not losing to the “despair”. He compares the emotion of despair
metaphorically to a “feast” which is the symbolic representation of the title, “Carrion”. Carrion meaning dead and decaying flesh, provides an unpleasant image of
vultures feasting on dead flesh. The poet is determined to survive this despair and outlive the misery. The “last strands of man” might have gone slack and even
though in his weariness he might speak of giving up but in actuality, the poet is never quitting. Then the poet questions the personified terrible despair and the
Almighty, he asks why he has been crushed under the giant foot of despair and why are the dark eyes of the horrible despair devouring his “bruised bones” when all he
wishes for is to “flee” from the dark influence.

The last stanza of the poem is an answer to the questions posed by the poet himself, to himself. The poet realises that the despair has not crushed his spirits, rather the
despair has changed him for good, the suffering has strengthened his soul and the poet’s victorious emergence from the dark has filled his soul with more joy and
courage. Even after the realisation, the poet cannot help questioning his faith and the integrity of God, unable to understand the reason for the suffering he has been
made to bear. He is in a dilemma, whether he should be thankful to God for making him suffer to gain strength as an end or whether he should be proud of himself for
surviving the battle courageously. The poet then concludes the poem by looking back at his struggles “now done darkness”, realising that he was not only struggling to
overcome depression but his internal battle was also with God, his faith and his lifelong beliefs.