October 21, 2011

Over Goldengrove Unleaving

I have been waiting for the perfect time to post this poem (have I posted it before?).  One fall Tom Jones (who is recovering so well--he's walking!--thank you for your prayers) ran up to my office and recited the entire thing to me (was it my birthday?).  Then yesterday Br.S sent an audio version to me.  It was a windy, chilly fall day, and just the perfect poem to read.  Today, under the weight of so many deadlines, I'm taking a couple minutes to refresh my brain and read/listen again.

ps. Hopkins poems should always be read aloud.

Spring and Fall
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! 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 will 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.

After listening to Br.S's selection, I saw this video (above). Typically, I do not like Natalie Merchant.  Her voice is too sweet, her style, too self-consciously meaningful.  But I was really excited when I heard about her recent project (ok, its been a couple years now), where she took various poetry and folk stories and retold them through song.  You know how nutty I get about folk songs and poetry.  I love her plainsong melody invention, and will have to learn this soon.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

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