More about Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin -
The Less Deceived (1956)
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Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death-
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.
But, o, photography! as no art is,
Faithful and disappointing! That records
Dull days as dull, and hold-it smiles as frauds,
And will not censor blemishes,
Like washing-lines, and Hall's-Distemper boards
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feel like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adult reconciling,
And can understand nothing
But the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.
Only one ship is seeking us, a black-
Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back
A huge and birdless silence. In her wake
No waters breed or break.
Spring, of all seasons most gratuitous,
Is fold of untaught flower, is race of water,
Is earth's most multiple, excited daughter;
And those she has least use for see her best,
Their paths grown craven and circuitous,
Their visions mountain-clear, their needs immodest.
My age fallen away like white swaddling
Floats in the middle distance, becomes
An inhabited cloud.
Quote of the day
We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
August 9, 1922
December 2, 1985
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