Spring and Fall By Gerard Manley Hopkins - A Friend To Vahni Capildeo

In this episode, Forward Prize-winning poet Vahni Capildeo talks with us about the poem that has been a friend to them – 'Spring and Fall' by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Vahni joined The Poetry Exchange online, from their family home in Trinidad, as part of City of Literature - a week of conversations, reflections and connections presented by the National Centre for Writing and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.


Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian Scottish writer inspired by other voices, ranging from live Caribbean connexions and an Indian diaspora background to the landscapes where Capildeo travels and lives. Their poetry includes Measures of Expatriation, awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016, and Venus as a Bear, published in 2018.

You can discover more about and purchase Vahni Capildeo's work at the Carcanet website (Vahni's publisher): https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?owner_id=1167

Michael Shaeffer reads the gift reading of Spring and Fall.

You will also hear Fiona mention some new publications by members of our creative team:

Andrea Witzke Slot's 'The Ministry of Flowers' is published by Valley Press: https://www.valleypressuk.com/book-info.php?book_id=146

Victoria Field's 'A Speech of Birds' is published by Francis Boutle: https://francisboutle.co.uk/products/a-speech-of-birds/

Sarah Salway's 'Let's Dance' is published by Coast to Coast, Spring 2021 and 'Not Sorry', a collection of flash fiction, is published by Valley Press Spring/Summer 2021. www.sarahsalway.co.uk

Spring and Fall
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! 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.