Mercury Day Poetry: “Spring and Fall”

There’s a little maple tree outside our front door that sometimes has trouble deciding when Winter’s coming. Even in December, Southern California weather never sends a clear message, and the little tree is perpetually confused. Right now, half the leaves have gone gold, and the other half are still green. A few scattered leaves surround it, as if they were reluctant to let go.

If you take a close look at the branches, everywhere it’s pushed out a yellowed leaf, a tiny green bud is already sprouting. It’s made me wonder if the tree has a message for me about change. In that vein, today’s poem is from Gerard Manley Hopkins. In the poem, the poet ponders the lesson of the woods. The little girl he’s walking with begins to cry when she sees the leaves dropping from trees. “That time of year thou mayest in me behold,” says Shakespeare. “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” counters Shelley.

Spring and Fall

to a young child
MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás 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 wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:        
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Posted by Bobbie

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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