The Trees


The trees are coming into leaf,
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

Uit: Collected Poems ( 2003; Marvell Press)
Am contributing ‘The Trees’ on Forum because this poem touches on the fragility of life: The trees coming into leaf/ Like something almost being said ( )  Their greenness is a kind of grief.  Why? Because the end of their greenness is anticipated? Yet there is the fact of the fullgrown thickness every May. Although the last year may be dead one can begin afresh as often and as long as life’s season lasts.