Happy Monday! & we’re having a very Robert Frost’s Banjo day around here, because we’re presenting both poetry & music.
Since first hearing Natalie Merchant’s extraordinary Leave Your Sleep album earlier this year, one of my favorite selections has been her setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “Spring & Fall.” I’ve had it in mind to post the poem along with a video of Ms Merchant’s setting as soon as a good version became available on YouTube. The other day I found just such a video; please give it a listen—it’s remarkable music. In case you missed it earlier, you can read my review of Leave Your Sleep right here. If you do check out the review, please note that since I wrote that I’ve come around to liking “The King of China’s Daughter.” In fact, this remarkable album continues to amaze & inspire me—it certainly stands up to repeated listening!
The poem itself, I give without comment—it’s too true & beautiful to explain away. But I should note that Hopkins placed accents over syllables he wanted stressed.
Hope you enjoy Hopkins’ poem & Merchant’s music!
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.
Gerard Manley Hopkins