Spring And Fall Essay

1078 words - 4 pages

Relationship Of the Title to the Poem in "Spring and Fall" By addressing a deep and mature message to a young child, poet Gerard Manley Hopkins artfully combines two themes: one that is personal and one that is universal. Furthermore, the uniqueness with which he conveys his verse is characteristic of the po . Risky accent marks capture the reader's attention and non-traditional rhythm holds it in place. These non-conservative techniques, to name a few, enable Hopkins to create a poem that demands to be read aloud. Yet despite all its apparent complexiti , "Spring and Fall..." possesses certain elements-- namely especial structure, rhythm, and title that, combined develop into a real and comprehensive poem. Perhaps the most innovative aspect of this particular poem is Hopkin's use of accent marks. Each one is stategically placed to add emphasis on certain key aspects of the work. For example, had the marks been absent from the first line, the entire mea ng would have suffered. With the extra stress placed on the words "Margaret" and "grieving," the poem adopts a paternal tone. The speaker is gently surprised by the discovery that this little child is weeping "over Goldengrove unleaving" (2) while ano er, more unpleasant concern abounds in life-- the reality of human death. In an attempt to accentuate this imporant connection, the poet also stresses the word "will" in line 9. This indicates that while Margaret may, at present, weep for dying leaves she will one day come to realize the brevity of her own life and also grieve as a result. Another structural component that accentuates this same idea is the innovative rhythm. There is no doubt that this poem should be read with one's ears as opposed o the eyes. While the poem has a traditional couplet rhyme scheme for the first six lines, the terset beginning in line 7 draws attention to itself-- Herzog 2 especially observing that the following sestet goes back to the previous couplet style. This difference is no mistake-- the purpose is to make the transition between the personal message to a particular young girl and the relationship of this to the re of the world. The predominantly predictable rhyme scheme also serves to create a sort of steady backdrop for the sprung rhythm to contrast against. The final couplet gives the clearest example of the dramatic effect of this combination: "It is the b ght man was born for, / It is Margaret you mourn for" (14, 15). The rhyme scheme is the same couplet form found throughout the previous twelve lines, yet while the previous line asserts that the universal man is subject to the "blight" of mortality, th accent provides a kind of super-emphasis on the fact that Margaret is also subject to the laws of time. The title, much as the very body of the poem itself, has dual implications. Readers must be careful to pay attention to the multiple definitions of the words "spring" and "fall" and apply their denotations to the coupled theme of the...

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