Poetry: This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin

I’m feeling maudlin today, so apologies for this in advance.

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.

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "Poetry: This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
majoringinliterature
Guest

I must admit, I’m not a big fan of Philip Larkin. Somehow his poetry just never appealed to me. But when I read one of his anthologies a few years ago, I did find myself liking this poem. It’s funny, unsettling, and in many ways quite true.

Jenny @ Reading the End
Guest

Such a good poem. I think of this all the time.