Sunday, November 7, 2010


by Gideon Burton
a response to Gerard Manley Hopkins' "Spring & Fall" (below)

Not grieving, no, though wistful at the haste

with which the paper leaf-gold scatters, bruised
with ruddy blushing once the crisping taste
of orange Autumn smacks the morning, fused
with musty rusts, with browning greens, with all
the sudden-subtle transformations stark
along the gilded leavings steeped in Fall.
And though the season leans toward the dark,
these worlds of wanwood leafmeal never lie,
but ever promise Sparrow Watcher heats
the coldest air with what can never die,
though guessing ghosts might spook their own retreat.
     This is the golden autumn birth we're born for:
     to so expire, there's nothing left to mourn for.

Spring & Fall
Gerard Manley Hopkins

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 & by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep & 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.

Photo: flickr - kern.justin

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