I Call It the Fall
I call it the Fall, rather than Autumn
not in a biblical sense
like a fall from grace, driven from Eden
but accepting change with dignity,
understanding that all things die
yet many will survive
to live once more, spring-rebirthed.
When Fall arrives for plants there comes a pause
a relinquishment of labor, a needed rest
when letting go brings welcome relief.
Yet in one of nature’s paradoxes
the Fall also brings fresher, vibrant air
sparking a sense of joy and vitality,
flowing not through the roots of flowers and trees
but through the veins of those blessed with mobility,
not anchored, but free to gambol,
and run through the golden days
fresh- tinted with the rays of September sun
that burnishes now without burning.
Call it Autumn or Fall, it brings the winds of change,
reviving some and urging others to necessary sleep.
Hopkins was not much lauded in his lifetime. However, for more than a hundred years, his distinctive idiosyncratic style, suffused with spirituality and yearning have won him many admirers. He often used unusual line breaks and invented words that combine unexpected prefixes to form a new word, e.g. the use of “unleaving” in the poem below.
Here is Gerard Manley Hopkins poem: Spring and Fall: to a young child. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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 heart heard of, ghost guessed;
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.