March 14, 2007 at 12:56 pm 3 comments

Philip Larkin


On longer evenings,
Light, chill and yellow,
Bathes the serene
Foreheads of houses.
A thrush sings,
In the deep bare garden,
Its fresh-peeled voice
Astonishing the brickwork.
It will be spring soon,
It will be spring soon –
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feel like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adult reconciling,
And can understand nothing
But the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.

It’s that time of the year again. It isn’t Spring yet, but it will be soon [1]. And Larkin’s poem captures that sense of foreshadowing beautifully. This is classic Larkin – crisp, unsentimental, yet closing with that one delicious image that perfectly conveys the tentativeness of the season.


[1] Well, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway.


Entry filed under: English, Falstaff, Philip Larkin.

She Walks in Beauty Reading Milosz

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cheshire Cat  |  March 21, 2007 at 5:33 am

    This is a lovely poem, hadn’t seen it before. Perfect except for that lazy use of “astonishing”…

    • 2. iliana  |  March 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      I disagree with your opinion that his use of ‘astonishing’ is lazy. I think astonishing is perfect for this image because it gives us a very clear impression of the carrying voice of the thrush echoeing off the brick walls.
      But then again you might be right – maybe personifying the brickwork by the use of astonishing is a little cheesy…whaddaya know…

  • 3. Coming | The Bully Pulpit  |  March 21, 2013 at 2:58 am

    […] Coming by Philip Larkin. […]


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