I looked out of my window today and saw a poem in action.
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.
I don't know whether it's just because leaf rhymes with grief, but this isn't the only poem which connects trees and mortality. There's Spring and Fall, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and New Hampshire by T S Eliot. Feel free to let me know of others!