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
Click here to listen to an audio file of this poem.
Submitted by Evan Clary, Head of the English Department
"I love the sound in this poem--from the near-rhyme of 'again' and 'grain' to the onomatopoeia of 'yet still the unresting castles thresh,'
from the song-like tetrameter to the implied sound of the surprising
simile in the first two lines (wonderful). It's a good poem for any
spring, outdoors or inside of us. "