Indiana University Bloomington

The Fall

Camden Hill, Religious Studies


Red eyes and tearful leaves

Call on the sickly feel of fall,

The show we’re shown tastes just

Like the candy that Abraham must

Have given Isaac his son. God stayed

The hand but can’t stay the end

Or even until it comes- again,

Sleep will come to all.

Again, sleep will bring the fall.

So just give me one more spring.


With this poem, I wanted to capture a conflicted emotional and spiritual response to fall. On one hand, the beautiful colors and cozy weather of fall are undeniably alluring, but as the leaves quickly fall and simple coziness turns to simply cold, the blessings of fall begin to feel like an empty promise, as if they were little more than a preface to winter. Using the Binding of Isaac as a source of imagery, I liken the display of fall to an imagined piece of candy that Abraham could have used on Isaac to trick him into accompanying Abraham up the mountain, a symbol of deception and betrayal. Thus, Isaac is bound, and winter comes. But every year, just as in every telling of the Binding, God spares our suffering, at least for the time being. Here, the poem loses some thematic stability as well as the rhythmic momentum that had been building; the speaker simply asserts the inevitability of sleep and a causality between slumber and fall, it is left up to the reader to interpret their validity and significance, if any. Finally, the poem ends with an invocation to no one in particular for spring to come once more. Though generally pessimistic and openly skeptical towards God, the speaker still seems to have faith that someone, or something, is listening to their prayers.


 

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