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Spring & Fall: To A Young Child

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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life's necessary losses
2005-09-20
Added by: jeff krauss
A beautiful meditation on loss and growing up. As the season of Fall marks the passing year, a young girl Margaret grieves the trees their passing coat of leaves...the poet would prepare her for 'colder sights' in years ahead, sights in comparison to which the starkly 'unleaved' trees will no longer evoke even a 'sigh.' The last line is Hopkin's assessment of the human condition. Like Donne's counsel to 'ask not for whom the bell tolls,' Hopkins assures us we won't escape our own change, loss, final dismissal...older, we may well know 'why' we weep (unlike the child Margeret), but the mysterious 'sorrow's springs' that well up inside us when contemplating our's and nature's common fate, is the most normal and human response to bereavement, yet none the less beyond any naming--an immense void confessed for this Christian poet who through poetry and use of words would name even God.

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