Sunday, April 25, 2010

SPRING AND FALL: TO A YOUNG CHILD by Gerard Manley Hopkins

(An old tree from Tanzania, photo by Diego Goldberg)

When I was nine, I memorized this poem by Hopkins because it had my name in the first line and because it made me cry for reasons I couldn't understand.


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 & by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep & know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

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