Poem du jour

[Via a comment on Wendi Aarons’ blog]

This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad,
They may not mean to but they do
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old style hats and coats
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can
And don’t have any kids yourself.

The Wikipedia page for the poem (linked to above) leads you to The Poet of Dirty Words, a May 2004 article by Stephen Burt on Slate that explored Larkin’s life and works as a new volume of his poetry was published. It also leads you to the Philip Larkin Society.

It’s been an interesting trip — I’d never heard of him before. (Though I write poetry, I don’t embrace the World of Poetry.)


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