Nomination: The Trees [2 June 1967. From High Windows]
‘The Trees’ is a poem that I have always enjoyed because it immediately resonates with one of the great pleasures derived from looking out of my window on a beautiful sycamore tree, admiring the summer beauty of its foliage and experiencing the welcome shade of its canopy while enjoying a pre-prandial gin and tonic, and in winter revelling in the delicate tracery of its denuded branches. But of the mountainous piles of fallen leaves in autumn, perhaps the least said the better, and to dwell rather on the revivifying awakening of the buds in spring when the glorious cycle recommences once again. ‘The Trees’ captures all of this for me.
However, I have to say that, if it had not featured so prominently in Larkin25 with Sir Tom Courtenay’s splendid presentation, ‘Here’ would have been a strong contender for this slot because of the memories it evoked from childhood visits to Hull to see relatives. The domes, statues, ships up streets, the slave museum and barge-crowded waters all conjured up the vivid memories of an impressionable youngster taken around the Old Town to see the sights.
Edwin A. Dawes