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The Trees by Philip Larkin
Transcript of The Trees by Philip Larkin
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.
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
By Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin is envious of the trees 'immortality'
The trees have the ability to 'start a new life' unlike humans
The poem metaphorically compares the tree's cycle of life to the human's life span
Life and death are a part of nature
Once a mistake is made, it is difficult for humans to start again, whereas trees can start again yearly
Trees have the luxury of hiding their age, unlike humans
First Stanza - The tone is optimistic and doesn't present the poet's opinion
Second Stanza - The tone is pessimistic as he shows his jealousy towards the trees. He also makes statements about death clear.
Third Stanza - The tone is hopeful, as he changes his perspective on life.
Rhyme scheme - ABBA CDDC EFFE
This suggests the ongoing cycle of life
Quatrains (four lines per stanza)
This represents the four seasons
12 lines representing the months of the year
The full stops at the end of a line suggest that everything must come to an end and death is inevitable.
Iambic Tetrameter (8 syllables per line) - Represents the repeating cycle of life