There are many poems that inspire me, but when I’m asked to think of a poem, this is one of the first that always comes to my mind. I think I remember having to memorize it in AP English my senior year of high school. Maybe it also appeals to me because Margaret is my middle name, and because I love Fall and like to write about leaves as well. It’s by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1918.
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 héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.