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There is a strong resemblance, both visually and literally, between the two poems 'Cut Grass' and 'The Trees'.

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Introduction

There is a strong resemblance, both visually and literally, between the two poems 'Cut Grass' and 'The Trees'. The most palpable resemblance is that they are both written by the same poet: Philip Larkin. Both the poems portray life towards death. Visually, they both contain three verses, consisting of four lines each. Though they are not exactly the same in every aspect, there are some differentiating characteristics between the two poems. 'The Trees', is a small three stanza composition, rhyming 'ABBACDDC'. The opening line of 'The Trees' conveys to us that they have started their yearly cycle of germinating. 'The trees are coming into leaf'. The last line of the first verse is purposefully early. Philip Larkin uses the word 'grief'. He intended to use this word to intensify the theme. The noun grief means extreme sadness. ' Their greenness is a kind of grief'. In this line, Larkin assigns the tree with the emotion 'grief'. There is a modification of the popular saying 'green with envy', which Larkin uses as 'greenness is a kind of grief'. Their greenness is a sign that they are reaching the end of their lives, he is in some ways telling us that 'the writing is on the wall'. ...read more.

Middle

Both these lines could be symbolically interpreted as a comment on the relative brevity of life, to the eternity of death. The third line continues with the words which personify the grass 'Mown stalks exhale'. Larkin chooses to use the word 'stalks' instead of using blades (blades of grass), this is an interesting choice of wording, and there must be a clearer meaning behind it, but I find it quite hard to understand why he used 'stalks'. The next line has an emphasis on the slow death of the grass. 'Long, Long the death' he asserts the emphasis by using the repetition of long. This is the first line of the poem in which Larkin uses the word mirrored in 'The Trees' in the third stanza of the third verse, 'the recent buds relax and spread'. It is used to describe to the reader how the buds unwrap, the same way that the personification is used in 'Mown stalks exhale', unlike in 'The Trees' where the word, death, comes up a lot later, despite it being a darker poem. The enjambment between this line and the next line keeps the poem at a smooth pace. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead, it ends with movement. This is not the frantic, and repeated revival at the end of 'The Trees', 'Afresh, afresh, afresh'. Rather, it is a slow continuity, which both reassures and relaxes us, as if we too are floating with the 'high-builded cloud'. Out of the two poems I preferred 'Cut Grass', because although it also talked about death, it had a much more blissful description of death. 'Cut Grass' was much more humanly influenced although nothing was mentioned about humans. There is no attempt here to savagely expose truth, on the contrary, Larkin wishes us to indulge in his fictitiously sensuous world. As I stated previously, the poem deals with the same theme as 'The Trees', that of 'death', but it does so in a much more accepting and passive manner. Whilst 'The Trees' seems to be an attempt to dissect, and even refute the concept of death, 'Cut Grass' handles the issue so gracefully and softly that we almost forget what Larkin implies, or that it is even Larkin at all. Larkin probably wrote these poems so that he could understand, death, he was probably very mystified and scared of death, because these two were not the only poems he wrote portraying death. Both poems intercept in meaning, but in different ways. Tamer Ben-nagi, Year 11, CW 2002 ...read more.

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