April 13, 2007

Philip Larkin: “This Be the Verse”

Posted in Poetry at 7:29 am by The Lizard Queen

A bit of irreverence for a gloomy Friday the 13th (seriously, winter storms?). Enjoy, and if it applies to you, it was meant for you. 🙂

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, 1974



  1. pavlov112 said,

    I love this poem! Sure, I’m interested in having kids at some point, but this is just so true…

  2. Cara said,

    The first poem I ever read in college 🙂

  3. Mishka P said,

    a good poem, not ruined by diane thiel’s fondness for it!

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