Study Guide

Spring and Fall Tough-o-Meter

By Gerard Manley Hopkins


(5) Tree Line

This is one of the easier poems by Hopkins, but that's like saying it's an "easy" 5,000 foot mountain to scale. The topic of the poem is a bit more accessible than some of his more religious poems, and because it's addressed to a young child, the sentence structure and the meter are a little less complicated than usual. But the poet still makes up a lot of words and touches on some difficult philosophical questions, so you'll still need to pack well and strap on your hiking boots for this one. The view from the top is gorgeous, but it's no walk in the park.