Coming
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In a BBC talk on 3 July 1964 Larkin spoke about this as follows:

“The most difficult kind of poem to write is the expression of a sharp uncomplicated experience, the vivid emotion you can’t wind yourself into slowly but have to take a single shot at, hit or miss.  Some fifteen years ago in February, I heard a bird singing in some garden when I was walking home from work: after tea I tried to describe it, and after supper revised what I had written.  That was the poem, and I must say I have always found it successful. It is called ‘Coming’ – what is coming, I suppose, is spring."

On longer evenings,

Light, chill and yellow,

Bathes the serene

Foreheads of houses.

A thrush sings,

Laurel-surrounded

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.

 

Philip Larkin 25 Feb 1950

Click here for an essay on this poem by John Woolley

 

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Last modified: September 26, 2006