Natalie Merchant

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Natalie Merchant

Gerard Manley Hopkins begins "Spring and Fall" with the line "Margaret, are you grieving / over golden grove unleaving," and then ends it with "It's the blight man was born for / It is Margaret that you mourn for." Hopkins was able to condense into just these two simple lines the fact that when we witness and mourn the death of anything, whether it is a tree, a flower, a season, or a loved one, we can't help but mourn the loss of a part of ourselves and imagine our own inevitable passage from this world. In our daily use of language we lack the ability to speak of the most profound experiences, but poetry can do that for us.

Read "Spring and Fall" by Gerard Manley Hopkins
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