A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘The Trees’

Insight is a wonderful trait

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic Larkin poem

‘The Trees’ was written by Philip Larkin in June 1967, and published seven years later in his final collection, High Windows. One of Larkin’s most popular lyrics about nature, ‘The Trees’ is at once a celebration of nature and a poem about death. You can read ‘The Trees’ here; read on for our analysis of it.

In summary, first, then: the first stanza observes that the trees are growing their leaves again, yet goes on to remark that the trees’ ‘greenness’ is ‘a kind of grief’. The second stanza then explains why this is so: although the trees appear to be ‘born again’ each year with the flowering of their new leaves, the trees do in fact age just as we do, and, eventually, they die, too.

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