Thursday, 13 October 2011

This Be The Verse

Today's poem is, lets be honest, a pretty bleak statement about Human Nature. I may not wholly subscribe to the views Larkin expresses here - after all it's not just misery that is handed on from generation to generation - but there is an element of truth in it. The poem also has a beautifully simple structure to go with its simple (and simplistic) logic.

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.


1 comment:

Raybeard said...

Very good poem, certainly - and brutally honest.
I'm afraid that for me Larkin is one of those poets where the man (in his case a very curious one) gets in the way between the poem itself and the reader/listener.
Betjeman is another one with the same effect for me, though in his case I don't experience the same slight resentment at his presence as I do Larkin, who rather seems to be like an uninvited guest.
All very subjective, of course.