Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I't s a Great Day for Philip Larkin

I've been posting poems mostly of living poets on the principle that our culture seems to favor dead, white males over other worthies. However, this month-long salute to poetry would be incomplete without Brit poet Philip Larkin's tidy little classic.

This Be the Verse

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.

Mr. Larkin's advice has served me well all these years!
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