Synopsis of Spring and Fall

Falling leavesThe poem is dated 7th September, 1880, whilst Hopkins was still based in Lancashire on parish duties. The ‘Fall' of the title is used in the American sense of ‘Autumn', and obviously one theme is the physical falling of the leaves. From the poem itself, and its subtitle ‘to a young child', it would appear the poem was inspired by the tears of a young girl, Margaret, over the leaves falling from the trees and dying. But the thought and expression can hardly be said to be appropriate for a child. For child-like poetry, The May Magnificat is a much better example.

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