Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Poem Thoughts: "Spring and Fall"

I've had an increasing interest in poetry lately. I loved teaching Emily Dickinson to my 11th grade class this year more than I ever have before. So with a gift card from a student, I purchased Poems to Read, a work that's part of the Favorite Poem Project, headed by Robert Pinsky, a former poet laureate of the United States.

One poem that has remained with me even after reading it several days ago is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) that I had never read before. I think it captures perfectly the bittersweet angst of growing up. The narrator, though having the perspective of years, knows of what he speaks.

Spring and Fall
To a Young Child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.


Blogger Bet said...

I love this poem too! Hopkins always has some imaginative uses of words in his works: esp here "unleaving" and "leafmeal." And the concluding lines are sad but so biblically truthful.

...and I'm glad to know you have a blog! keep up the good work.

6:12 AM  

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