POETS Day: Philip Larkin

Ben Sears

Ben Sears is a writer and restaurant guy in Birmingham, Alabama. He lives quite happily across from a creek with his wife, two sons, and an obligatory dog. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog, The Columbo Game.

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5 Responses

  1. CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    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.

    Philip Larkin, This Be the VerseReport

  2. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    CJ puts his most famous poem, the second famous one being Annus Mirabilis:

    Sexual intercourse began
    In nineteen sixty-three
    (which was rather late for me) –
    Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
    And the Beatles’ first LP.

    Up to then there’d only been
    A sort of bargaining,
    A wrangle for the ring,
    A shame that started at sixteen
    And spread to everything.

    Then all at once the quarrel sank:
    Everyone felt the same,
    And every life became
    A brilliant breaking of the bank,
    A quite unlosable game.

    So life was never better than
    In nineteen sixty-three
    (Though just too late for me) –
    Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
    And the Beatles’ first LP.Report

    • Ben Sears in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      “Oh, what a night…”Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Ben Sears
        Ignored
        says:

        That was nine months after the Beatles’ first LP.

        I went to a karaoke event once. A group of four had requested “Oh, What a Night,” and tried to power through for about ten seconds before realizing that it was very much not the song which they had been expecting. They tried to negotiate a switch to “December 1963” while the Dells’ “Oh What a Night” played on, but oddly they didn’t have it.Report

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