College Papers/Spring And Fall college paper 14355

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Poetry is something that used to give me nightmares. In high school,

if I knew that a poetry assignment was going to be given, I would stay

home sick. I've since learned that while work is involved, discovering

the authors intended meaning is fun and actually gets easier the more I

practice it. When given the task to interpret "Spring and Fall" by

Gerard Manly Hopkins, I at first was worried about the length of the

poem; however, after I began to read the poem, I was able to get a

picture of what was being said. In this essay, I will analyze why

Margaret is grieving.

The poem leads into a young girl who is saddened by the winter's

approach and the symbolic death of the forest. She doesn't know it

consciously, but in her heart she knows that all things will end and the

coming of winter foreshadows her own mortality. She is told that as she

ages, it won't bother her even though she may see an infinity of leaves

as said in line six "It will come to such sights colder." But line ten

is contradictory in saying "And you will weep and know why." Which I

must take to mean that as Margaret nears her end, she will be saddened

by everything that has been, and ever will be lost to time. Eventually

she is told that people are born to die, and as if she has eaten from

the tree of knowledge, she is aware and saddened for her innocence lost.

In "Spring and Fall," Hopkins explains to a child that we all age and

die. That Margaret, like all of us, must deal with this fact and not

let the knowledge of it hold her back from life. This is a message that

almost everyone needs to hear sometime in their lives.

Steve Nix

2-9-98

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