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Larkin Two Trees

Decent Essays
How do Don Paterson and Phillip Larkin try to capture a message about life in their poems Two Trees and The Trees?
In the two poems, “Two Trees” by Don Paterson and “The Trees” by Phillip Larkin, the poems explore life and death through their seemingly black and white poems. In “Two Trees”, Paterson explores the themes of creativity and perception while Larkin ponders the illusions of life and how things are perceived. The messages in their poems can be seen in their contrasting uses of symbolism, imagery, rhyme and metre, and structural form.
The two poems both make use of symbolism to convey their message to the reader. “Two Trees” shows this through wordplay such as “rooted in his head”. Here the word “rooted” both means that he has an idea
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The Trees mirrors life and its hardships with, “No, they die too” and language like, “grief”. Similarly, the poet also emphasises that the nicer side of things; new chances, “coming into leaf” or, “being born again” are “tricks” or illusions. However, the poem does end on a happier note with “begin afresh, afresh, afresh”. Larkin’s message is that while there are good things in life, quite often they are not all that they seem.
Both poems use powerful imagery to capture a message about life, however, they do it in different ways. In Two Trees by Don Paterson interesting language choices such as “graft” which can mean attaching the trees together as Miguel did or it can mean “hard work” or to “work hard”. It also can mean an outdated style of writing equipment and, finally, it has come to mean bribery or other corrupt practices. That one word alone shows many important life messages: you will always have someone else there for you; you have to work hard to get results; there is a reason some opinions are outdated; and there will always be a dark side to humanity. This darker side is also mirrored in the 6th line “for twelve months for the shame or from the fright/ they put forth nothing.” Here, the poet tells the
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Two Trees has a linear structure, in chronological order, to convey how easy it is to see things in different lights. Likewise, the poem has a very strong connection to the number two, particularly due to the rhyme and metre, but it also has two stanzas, each one showing a different point of view on the trees and the dream that had them “graft”-ed together. The poem also contains many enjambments, which, like thoughts, continue onto the next line. In Don Miguel’s stanza, they are carefree, like his thoughts, but The Man’s are more impartial, as if he couldn’t care at all. The Man’s stanza also seems to speed up, with the enjambments rushing the stanza, almost as if, like him, the poem is hasty and thoughtless, and rushes into things. Contrastingly, The Trees by Philip Larkin has a circular structure, returning to the beginning each stanza and it also returns to the beginning of the poem at the end. It mirrors itself, starting with life, then death, and ending with life. However, throughout it is becoming softer; there are more vowels at the beginning, which makes the beginning sound harsher. Overall, both poems use structure to express a message, but the overriding similarity is both poems’ ability to mirror themselves in different
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