The Fall

The Fall
by Russell Edson
There was a man who found two leaves and came indoors holding
them out saying to his parents that he was a tree.
To which they said then go into the yard and do not grow in the living-
room as your roots may ruin the carpet.
He said I was fooling I am not a tree and he dropped his leaves.
But his parents said look it is fall.

0 thoughts on “The Fall

  1. We can pull a lot out of this. First the “man” must be a boy, and yet this wry little incident might well have brought him into manhood. It’s ingenuously beautiful that he comes indoors holding two leaves saying he is a tree, and it’s amusing that his parents pick up on his imagination and tell him to go back outdoors and not presume to “grow in the living room as your roots (dirty feet?) may ruin the carpet.” Interesting that it is the living room, a civilized living space as opposed to a natural one, whose carpet, ground, could be ruined by such a violation. Do we see a frown on the boy’s face when he says “I was fooling” and drops “his,” not the, leaves? Probably, for he drops them–gives up the idea. But his parents archly extend it, saying “look it is fall.”
    Yet the poem is called The Fall, which, in reference to the tree image, we can interpret in the biblical sense as the fall from innocence. The boy coming into the house has sinned by bringing in the dirt of his naive paradise, and the fall that happens when leaves drop brings death into his world. His act could be the turning point when he grows up to understand that such unrestrained fancy should not be allowed.

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