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Spring And Fall: To A Young Child

Rating: 3.7
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.
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COMMENTS
andrew gray 10 April 2020
It's a sad state of affairs when a mindless synthesizer can do a better job of delivering GMH's meaning than 99% of professional poetry reciters, voice actors, etc. And no, it's horrific to have a mindless machine read poetry - there's something deeply disturbing about the whole concept. It's just a tiny bit *less* dystopian than a bad human recitation.
1 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 20 September 2019
Well expressed thoughts and feelings. A beautiful creation.........................
1 0 Reply
Paul Amrod 01 October 2015
I find this poem in some way difficult but brilliant and could be a perfect text for a Procol Harum song. You can read this eleven times through and experience something totally different
5 1 Reply
Paul Amrod 01 October 2015
I find this poem in some way difficult but brilliant and could be a perfect text for a Procol Harum song. You can read this eleven times through and experience something totally different.
4 1 Reply
Paul Amrod 01 October 2015
I find this poem in some way difficult but brilliant and could be a perfect text for a Procol Harum song. You can read this eleven times through and experience sonthing totally different.
4 1 Reply
Kim Barney 01 October 2015
One of the best poems I have read for some time. Both Frank Avon and Andrew Hoellering made some great points in their comments. Frank, I can't even imagine how I would choose my ten favorite poems if all others had to be destroyed, so I won't even think about it!
2 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 01 October 2015
By and by with the muse of nature. Nice work.
2 1 Reply
Michael Walker 28 February 2015
I rate this poem highly. There is the sadness of the child, autumn, and it compares the falling leaves to man's mortality. The line length and rhyming couplets are just right.
5 0 Reply
Andrew Hoellering 10 January 2010
The poem has 15 lines. Hopkins could have rendered it in traditional sonnet form but chose not to, allowing content to dictate form. This is typical of this most original of poets. Why is Spring and Fall so powerful, so moving? Each of us will answer the question in our own way. Margaret (who could be fictional) guesses that ‘goldengrove unleaving’ stands for the human condition. We are of nature, and our years fall away like leaves until we die. With age we become less honest; less emotionally open even should ‘worlds of wanwood leafmeal life.’ An equivalent to this phrase is the emotional overkill of TV news, with its never-ending concentration on pain and suffering. We become hardened to this with time, and our giving to charities is likewise affected. Not so with Margaret and the young, who are inconsolable (see my comment on another fine Hopkins poem, Felix Randall.) Their living (and lived) concern remains an inspiration to us all.
12 2 Reply
Steve W 26 February 2008
Despite GMH regarding this poem as disposable, I regard it as his best. It's a profound comment on getting older. I return to this poem time and time again. He is on a par with R.S. Thomas and Shakespeare on this topic.
11 2 Reply

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