Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Poetry Month - Gerald Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Tree at Versailles, France

During my senior year of high school, I attended a scholarship competition that involved a couple of days of testing, speeches, and interviews.  On one of the exams, I was asked to analyze this poem.  I had never read it before, but fell in love with it as I wrote about it on the test.  It has remained one of my favorites.  Oh, and I must have done all right on the analysis because I got the scholarship!

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.

--Gerald Manley Hopkins


  1. wow- I have never read this poem. Very poignant. Thanks for sharing. No surprise that you got the scholarship though.