I picked this poem in celebration of the opening (or soon to open) of Fall. My favorite season.
Here, the poet gives tribute to this season. I like him a lot even though he rhymes, his choice is always insightful and evocative. He also shares my last name and I can always, in that way, feel related to greatness.
I always like the Fall, it was the quieting of Summer’s ruckus, a settling into the calm of Winter’s contemplation. Though Winter would be rougher on me as I got older, I think I still can prize it as that quiet time when the world stays somewhat still and I can catch my breath. As a child, it was an easy time, someone else paid the bills and wrapped me in blankets and attended to my every need (hunting down hot pads and hot chocolate, and me just with waiting fingers). Still, with all of its difficulties, I think that it should be honored for what it is and for the fact that it is as much a celebration of life as Spring and Summer, just the other side of crazy months of May.
I’m kind of dismayed (as is this poem) with a world that only values the young and frenzy of youth, it makes for a superficial society. The young have little appreciation for what they have, only wanting more. Older and wiser people understand that this is the best of all times, and that the simple things, the things earned, the things cared for are what bring value to life. When little Margaret looks up into the tree and is upset that it is dropping leaves, that it is not, cannot be young any longer, she is being short sighted and a little ungrateful; there are rewards to this sight too. She does not recognize the grace, the beauty and the power of this older tree; she only sees what she wants to see that it is wilting. But that is the world of the young, vanity.
So, here comes Fall with it’s wind and many-colored splendor, it’s squashes and ciders. Here comes the bright, orange moon and the crisp stars. Here comes the easing into routine and the challenges of the rain. Here comes a time to look back and time for perspective and understanding. Here comes round turkeys and pies and soups that steam pleasant scents into the house and to warm hearths shared with friends. Stop mourning the end of Summer and celebrate the beginning of Fall. Hooray for Fall!
Spring and Fall
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
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.