THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: ‘THIS BE THE VERSE’

English: Philip Larkin's headstone at Cottingh...

Philip Larkin (RIP)

A poem by Philip Larkin

“They fuck you up, your mom 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.”

– by Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001). Philip Larkin, “This Be the Verse” from Collected Poems. Used by permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Phillip Larkin.

 

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