How does the language of the poem work to convey the poet's meaning? Hopkins wanted to make the language work overtime, and used every aspect of it - grammar, dialect, word coinage or combination, rhythm [rhythm: The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. ], sound and imagery [imagery: Vivid 'word pictures' used by a writer to conjure up a mental image of something. ] - to make the reader 'feel' the poet's experience.
"rollrock"(line 2) or
"pitchblack"(line 7). Portmanteau words like twindles are combinations of other words, created by Hopkins to give exactly the right meaning to his poem. Words like
"rounds"contain hidden historical meanings which - when you know them - add to the work the words can do.
"degged". These give the language the rugged, earthy feel of colloquial [colloquial: Informal or slang language - more likely to be used in spoken language than in writing. ] speech. Think how different the poem would sound if he had used
"This darksome burn", then switches half way through to
"the fleece of his foam", while stanza 3 is more of a list of things than a sentence!