September 05, 2005

My favorite fall poem

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.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

5 comments:

Running2Ks said...

jo(e). lovely. beautiful. thank you.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I LOVE this poem! Mostly because I discovered it in a Lois Lowry (?) young adult novel (A Summer to Die, I think?) which was also very very good. But I loved these lines so much that it's one of the few poems I have memorized.

Jody said...

Yep, "A Summer to Die," by Lois Lowry. Have it on my shelf, was very taken with it. But not, I think, in a very healthy way (beautiful unambitious older sister dies an early death, younger unlovely intellectual daughter must go on--yes, yes, thirteen-year old readers fit the profile of the heroine, but now the book irritates me even though it's a totally effective tear jerker too).

On the other hand, the younger child (Meg) has a great relationship with a grandfatherly type, and he quotes the poem to her. And I fell in love with the poem, too.

(Also a sort of funny book for late-seventies "hippy" attitudes and the "crisis" it provokes in small-town America.)

Dr. Crazy said...

Gorgeous poem. I love Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

yes