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Friday, August 10, 2018

Living Life In Poetry


“Life has a practice of living you, if you don't live it.” – Philip Larkin

Born on this date in 1922, Larkin was one of post-war England’s most famous poets, and was commonly referred to as “England’s other Poet Laureate” until his death in 1985.  Larkin’s best-known and most popular collections – The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings, and High Windows – present “a poetry from which even people who distrust poetry . . . can take comfort and delight.”  

For this weekend’s poem, here is Larkin’s,

     Afternoons
Summer is fading:
The leaves fall in ones and twos
From trees bordering
The new recreation ground.
In the hollows of afternoons
Young mothers assemble
At swing and sandpit
Setting free their children.

Behind them, at intervals,
Stand husbands in skilled trades,
An estateful of washing,
And the albums, lettered
Our Wedding, lying
Near the television:
Before them, the wind
Is ruining their courting-places

That are still courting-places
(But the lovers are all in school),
And their children, so intent on
Finding more unripe acorns,
Expect to be taken home.
Their beauty has thickened.
Something is pushing them
To the side of their own lives.




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