Poetry Friday: Coming by Philip Larkin

Poetry Friday is hosted by Kimberley @ Written Reflections


I was greeted by big buckets of forsythia branches as I waked into the grocery store this bitterly cold afternoon.  We are at that stage of winter where it is painful to be outdoors, even for a few minutes.  But, seeing that burst of sunshine on this bleak day allowed me a glimpse of early April, when forsythia will be in full bloom here, there, and everywhere.

Coming by 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.


17 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Coming by Philip Larkin

  1. Love that thrush astonishing the brickwork, and the forsythia. Spring has arrived in my house today with a lovely bouquet of roses. Flowers help us face those winter blues.

  2. I loved just what Margaret did. I adore Forsythia as well. You’ve reminded me to get some and put it somewhere in my house to remind me of the sun which I haven’t seen in many days.

  3. How can one ever think of bathing foreheads of houses in light, not perfectly quoted, but I am in awe. What a beautiful poem. I think you know that the forsythia will forever be with that poem. Thanks, Tara.

  4. Oh, this poem brought me to tears – such a beautiful picture of walking in on adults reconciling, and being happy without understanding what is going on. Lovely!

  5. “Its fresh-peeled voice
    Astonishing the brickwork.” – how lovely!

    Tara, I want to say too, that I love your banner photo. Every time I come to your blog, I feel like I should enjoy the scene by taking a deep breath of fresh air. Did you take the photo?

  6. Tara, the big chill is on again so the big buckets of forsythia branches remind us that the groundhog predicted an early spring. Love this line as does Linda: Light, chill and yellow/Bathes the serene/Foreheads of houses.

  7. I’m swooning over the same line as so many others – “Its fresh-peeled voice/Astonishing the brickwork” – ahhh. Thank you for sharing this burst of forsythia, Tara – I LOVE forsythia.
    Stay warm and cozy as we wait for spring… :0)

  8. Yes, a wonderful poem. For me the repetition of ‘it will be spring soon’ is what makes its beauty perfect and particularly memorable.

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