After the ecstasy, the laundry

Back from a really delightful Seder at my cousins’ place (we almost never go to their house for the first night, but this year my in-laws are doing the second night instead).  Note to self: see if the in-laws will do the second night next year, too.  And here I sit, pleasantly full of gefilte fish, reading blogs and the Sunday New York Times while the Snork Maiden’s soccer uniform swishes around in the washing machine.  More soccer tomorrow, but the season will be over soon. 

I got my students to observe Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday by offering incentives (extra credit or small prizes) to students who carried poems in their pockets and read them aloud in class.  Many students picked poems I had made available, but some brought poems they’d written or other poems they liked.  A couple brought song lyrics and only one or two brought truly awful verse found on the Internet.  Here’s the poem I carried (in my shirt pocket) and read several times during the day: Philip Larkin’s “The Trees.”  (“The unresting castles thresh” is brilliant sound.)

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

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