The Poetry Exchange

Márgarét, áre you gríeving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?

Gerard Manley Hopkins.jpeg
Spring and Fall
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Spring and Fall

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.

Gerard Manley Hopkins


Poem as Friend to Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo
Spring and FallGerard Manley Hopkins

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 Vahni Capildeo's work at the Carcanet Press website:

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:

Victoria Field's 'A Speech of Birds' is published by Francis Boutle:

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.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.