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"Spring and Fall" by Gerard M. Hopkins

Purpose: For this exercise, you will read through a poem one line at a time. You will not be able to move to the next line until you click on the underlined word. The reason you must read the poem in such a piecemeal way is that it will force you to slow down as you read. Poetry is about tasting words, not gulping them. The purpose of this exercise is a slow, careful reading of a poem.

Directions: You will read through an online version of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem "Spring and Fall." (Click here to see the Gerard M. Hopkins' Homepage). You should already have read the Close Reading Exercise before beginning. If you have not read it, do so now.

As you read, you have two jobs to do for your assignment. They require scratch-paper:

(1) Paraphrase each line of the poem. Say what it says using different words. DON'T SUMMARIZE MULTIPLE LINES INTO SINGLE LINES! The point isn't brevity. The point is precision.

(2) Answer one of those questions in the Close Reading Exercise for each line. It doesn't matter which one, as long as you answer one of them for every line to help you unpack the poetry.

The poem we will use is found in The Later Poetic Manuscripts of Gerard Manley Hopkins in Facsimile, ed. Norman H. MacKenzie (New York and London: Garland, 1991): p. 217. It was first published in 1918.

Click here to START POEM.



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