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Thursday, July 06, 2006

What I recall (and shall never forget) from English Lit 1001

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.
Philip Larkin, 1971

8 comments:

Rob said...

Bit of a misery wasn't he?.....but then he lived in one of the dullest towns in England, Hull.

He was also a jazz critic and was scathing about one of the greatest jazz musicians John Coltrane.

Smarts said...

LOL. I do tend to embrace the cynical. I could never be with someone who is a librarian.

terri said...

as you may know...
i learned from my mom who to be.
i learned from my dad who not to be.
but i guess that's the human experience...to damage one another, and too seldomly, to repair.
i'm in reparation mode now, but using a lot of plaster, glue, and string to hold it all together. still better than a pile of rubble...

nice to read your words again. with love!

Rob said...

smarts
There is an interesting contradiction in your two lines....is this significant do you think?

Smarts said...

Hi T, so nice to have you here.
You are right, it is the human experience, I'm tyring to see it all as opportunity to grow, all weaving into the fabric of who we are becoming. Ironically, it might be the very thing that most enriches our lives.

also with love. xo

Smarts said...

Oh Rob, woman = condratiction!

The librarian thing stems from my mother-in-law, who spent her working career as a university archivist on the 4th floor of the library. She has many archivist/librarian friends. It pains me to be near them. Lovely, lovely ladies who speak minutiae. God love them, I can't even feign interest. These quiet voices in sleepy-time cadence, using detail to describe finer detail.

I'm more of a big picture girl.

I was surprised to learn Larkin was a librarian. I do like that a librarian wrote this poem - it breaks down (at least in part) a stereotype.

Rob said...

Glad you're a big picture girl. I don't take to librarians usually.

I heard an author recently say she gave up her Univ. lectureship to become a librarian as it gave her more free time in the evenings. It must be very dull work however.

bradford said...

"Now you husbands & ladies
when you start having babies
remember they are who they are.
You can't drop-kick and send them
to some place where they bend them
cause that way they never go far.
You let them go wild
and treat them real mild
that way they come on real strong
and when they rise above you don't think they don't love you cause
they always come back before long"
Jerry Hannan is a Marin Co. performer