Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gerard Manley Hopkins's Spring and Fall (Commonplace Book)

Hopkins, I cannot help but point out, was a fellow Balliol man. In point of fact in his life he never used his middle name. The fact that we know him by the three names today seems to be because of later editors, for some reason. Here is the poem, which has fantastic rhythms:
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With you 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 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.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hopkins in one of my favourite poets, and highly under-rated. He should be quoted more often.