Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Falling Leaves

Today, as I rode by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed
Like snowflakes falling on the Flemish clay.


  1. This poem has a fairly complicated rhyming pattern [A,B,C,A,B,C,D,E,F,D,E,F], there is also a pattern in the number of syllables per line: 6, 10, 6, 10.
    We were thinking that maybe the leaves represent the soldiers, 'but thickly, silently, they fell, like snowflakes wiping out the moon'. There are a few similes throughout the poem, an example can be found on lines 11 and 12.
    As a group, we decided that the poem in a whole could be seen as a metaphor, in addition, we noticed that there are no stanzas, the poem is structured in one single verse.

    Tash, Holly, Kate, Katie and Abi =)

  2. Just a little bit of background information on the author that I thought I might do for homework :)

    The author; Margaret Postgate Cole:
    - Was a pacifist during WWI, but suprisingly, an active supporter of WWII.
    - Was an atheist, a feminist, and a socialist.
    - Studied at Girton College, Cambridge.
    - After moving to London later in her life, she was elected a labour councillor on the London County Council.

    Tash :D

  3. So far I think that our comments on 'The Falling Leaves' have been good. Margaret Postgate Cole may have preferred a poem as opposed to writing a story because it is more simple and concise. She is able to use similies and metaphors in a poem make it seem more beautiful and interesting. Also a poem will last longer over time, so people can look over the poem and remember how people fell during the first world war, if that is what the poet is trying to depict in this poem. (we know during what time this was writen, as it was in November 1915.)
    Maybe Margaret felt that as she had seen people fall during the first world war, she should stop being a pacifist and help our country fight back. Maybe her poem changed her perspective on what she did to support our country as she wrote about soldiers falling. She might have wanted to try and stop people getting killed by helping the war effort in world war two.

  4. The comment above was by Holly :)

  5. This poem seems to not have any personal feeling no personal loved one lost, it is therefore not particuarly sad unlike others. It seems to have some sort of general meaning of the soldiers who lived and died, the soldiers seem to represent the leaves which makes it more confusing to decipher whats behind it. She seems to have a certain admiration for these soldiers, we can see this from 'in their beauty' a similie with snowflakes seems quite a peaceful pleasant one.

  6. This poem is a sad one about ww1 soilders dying for their country one by one they fall

  7. Also the snowflakes represent the soldiers, when you interpret snowflakes they melt into nothing, like the soldiers they die and they are forgotten about. Also snowflakes come down in large quantities not one flake each day, this could represent the sheer number or soldiers who died in the war.

  8. I think that MP Cole cleverly chooses to use nature (leaves and snowflakes) to describe the war as it highlights the prospect that war is unnatural. Furthermore, I think that snowflakes are and ideal thing to compare the men to in metaphorical terms as snowflakes pile up to form a layer of snow. Arguably this is the men's bodies piling up from death on the front-line... hope this helps

  9. plus, snowflaks all look the same but each one is unique, much like the soldiers. The poet also makes it clear how unnecessary it was for them to die in lines 10 and 11. They wern't killed by an appropriate death and were slaughtered in their prime.

  10. Just a possible meaning, but a tree is made up of leaves. An army is made up of men. When leaves die, they fall from the tree. This is the same, for the men. They die and fall. It also says 'brown leaves'. Brown could represent the uniforms of the army as the leaves represent the men.

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  12. Oi you fucking pricks this poem is pile of Wank and mz stfu you queer bastard.