Last Year Is Dead

Photo: 4028mdk09, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: 4028mdk09, via Wikimedia Commons

[Text of Philip Larkin’s poem, “The Trees,” here]

“Last year is dead,”
Larkin said,
of daffodils and trees,
mocking their rebirth
as if spring were falsely clothed.

And this:

“…greenness is a kind of grief.”

That connection is a trick of the mind,
like not seeing the seam
between hurt and anger.

Was Larkin born to fall away,
a child of embers?

This year and last
are one;
my life, and yours;
Larkin’s grief,
and hope.

 

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