Monday, April 12, 2010


I woke up last week to see the trees in the yard tinted pink and dusty green, on the very brink of bursting into buds. It literally happened in the space between dusk and dawn, it seemed. Spring always sneaks up on me that way, and as much as I try to resist it (and I do, for some perverse reason), I end up giving into a not-quite-but-almost insidious joy that blows in on the warm breeze along with the pine pollen and the scent of green unfurlings.

Poems sneak up on me, too. With perfect timing, this one by Phillip Larkin found me on Sunday.

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.

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