POEM - FALLING LEAVES
-Margaret Cameron The First stanza
There is a gentle expression of disappointment and sadness above in the trees among the leaves whispering Goodbye. The fluttering and falling down of different kinds (yellow, crimson and brown) of leaves is mentioned. Analysis
– The leaves seem to understand they have reached their end stage and hence the sigh of disappointment and sadness. The lines are also suggestive of the preceding season of Spring i.e. Autumn. Falling leaves may also signify the soldiers dying in the war Figure of Speech
1. For the leaves are whisp’ring’ – Personification
2. Goodbye, goodbye - Repetition The Second stanza
The leaves on the trees have all turned golden or brown and are no longer green and new. They will wither and dry and will falloff the branches of trees. These golden leaves when they fly in the air during the summer, provide an illusion of a golden rain due to the brightness of the sunshine falling on them. The withered leaves are of chestnut, hawthorn and lime.
The formation of a natural, golden carpet appeals to the visual senses providing anaesthetic charm. The lines also suggest that everything in nature is impermanent and nothing remains forever. Figure of Speech
‘Up in the trees there’s a golden rain of the leaves - ImageryThe Third stanza
There is a bright array of coloured leaves fallen on ground. The thick layer is of leaves shed by the trees the previous night. These are brown of the Oak trees, yellow leaves of Ash trees and crimson - red coloured leaves of the Maple trees. They give the impression of a carpet- a carpet decorated by Nature Analysis
The trees and the leaves lend a hand in embellishing Nature. If the scene of war is to be considered here
, the falling of leaves could be likened to that of the dying soldiers in a war their martyred, lifeless bodies heaped one on the other, strewn on the ground forming a ruddy, bloody carpet Figure of Speech -- The Fourth stanza
The wind is considered cruel in the poem as it drives the leaves away or off the branches, when it blows mercilessly and fiercely. The leaves cower, shelter and cling, tremble and are frightened as though they are afraid of drying, falling and getting crushed.
The cruelty of the wind is revealed here. The personification of the wind creates an image of it being harsh and dominating and how it does not spare any leaf The personification displays a struggle for life and how death is inevitable
, unavoidable. It attributes to a symbolic meaning. Again, if the wind is compared to the war, it clearly justifies being called cruel as it leads to the death of the soldiers. The leaves reflect as the brave soldiers who are trembling, cowering and frightened of the war as it separates them from their original space, their families and friends.] Figure of Speech
1. cruel wind - Metaphor
2. All through the woods goes the cruel wind. Ashe drives the leaves with his breath unkind – Personification
3. cower and cling - Alliteration The Fifth stanza
Just like the ships that make their way in a hurry to the harbour, these sad leaves bid farewell as they fall. The fallen leaves float on the tides of the nearby streams, making the tide appear risen or larger and swollen. The leaves are considered as beautiful
, little ships of fairies. These ships let out (breathe) a sigh of relief as they reach the harbour safely. Analysis
All along the poem, the poet speaks of the journey of the falling leaf. The leaf experiences the force of elements like the earth (carpet,
wind (cowers and clings) and water (ships. It allows itself to become one with the elements of nature. There is an immediate feeling of relief when it finally coexists with nature. Figuratively, the reaching at harbour suggests the final destination – death.
Figure of Speech
1. Float the leaves, like ships in which fairies ride – Simile