For 20 years, William Sieghart has cured the sad and the sick with poetry. Now he’ll do the same for you

CONDITION: stagnation ALSO SUITABLE FOR: apathy · depression · despair · grief

PRESCRIPTION: The Trees by Philip Larkin

It’s easy to forget sometimes that however old we are, we still have the capacity to grow. This poem is a reminder that it’s never too late to bud, bloom and flourish; that winter only lasts as long as we allow it to. Larkin expresses the wonder of that extraordinary potential for change. It’s the feeling we recognise in the seemingly barren bush as it edges its way toward budding. We know, intuitively and intensely, that transformation is on its way. In a matter of weeks, that bush will be all but unrecognisable. It will be fully alive again.

Have you ever had a thought on your lips – an “I love you”, or even a simple “Yes” – and sensed the huge power the next moment will have over your life? This, suggests Larkin, is your own bud, the leaf about to spring forth from you into life. This moment before speaking, when we stand poised on the edge of transforming our world in some huge, almost unthinkable manner – though we may not always feel it, this is a power we all possess within us, every second of every day.

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