The informing principal of this issue “Spring and Fall” from Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem,
is a general one. I did not require that submissions address a particular theme. The poems that
came in through the Internet, US mail, and international post were diverse in subject and style
and many in numbers. Reading them, I began to feel gluttonous, like the caterpillar in Robert K.
Johnson’s poem “Again in May” that wants to devour the riches of the world, particularly during
the spring season. My selection process seemed inclusive rather than exclusive as I grouped more
poems together in bunches rather than separating fewer of them in a perfect isolation. In many
cases, I wanted to present two or three by each author to give a fuller portrait rather than a
single statement. How have we come? Where are we going? What contradictions do we face and how
are the polarities of these contradictions changing? Spring/fall, rise/ descend, sow/harvest,
begin/end. Let us not consider endings yet.
Hopkins wrote his poem “Spring and Fall” to a young child, asking if she knew why
she cried, “Margaret, are you grieving/ Over Goldengrove unleaving?” In the final lines, he
suggests that perhaps she is crying for herself, in all her innocence, before knowledge of
the ways of the world, “the blight man was born for,” transforms her and she can no longer cry.
These Poetry Porch pages are dedicated to those who engage and have engaged with their challenges
fully and passionately, and who express and have expressed and have lived the consequences of
expressing their feelings, tears, worries, misgivings, second thoughts, successes, reconciliations,
and triumphs with measured intensity.
Spring gives way to fall, after fall comes another spring. All too soon one season
fades and becomes another. These pages too will vanish, with little but the electricity between
magnetic poles to sustain them. But now, we have a great deal of work to do.