[When first we faced, and touching showed] When first we faced, and touching showed How well we knew the early moves, Behind the moonlight and the frost, The excitement and the gratitude, There stood how much our meeting owed To other meetings, other loves. The decades of a different life That opened past your inch-close… Continue reading Philip Larkin
Truly, though our element is time, We are not suited to the long perspectives Open at each instant of our lives. They link us to our losses: worse, They show us what we have as it once was, Blindingly undiminished, just as though By acting differently, we could have kept it so. — Philip Larkin,… Continue reading Philip Larkin
I think writing about unhappiness is probably the source of my popularity, if I have any. Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth. — Philip Larkin
Why did I dream of you last night? Now morning is pushing back hair with grey light Memories strike home, like slaps in the face; Raised on elbow, I stare at the pale fog beyond the window. So many things I had thought forgotten Return to my mind with stranger pain: —Like letters that arrive… Continue reading Philip Larkin
Admitted: and the pain is real. But when did love not try to change The world back to itself—no cost, No past, no people else at all— Only what meeting made us feel, So new, and gentle-sharp, and strange? — Philip Larkin, from “When first we faced, and touching showed,” Philip Larkin: Collected Poems, ed.… Continue reading Philip Larkin
In trains we need not choose our company For all the logic of departure is That recognition is suspended; we Are islanded in unawareness, as Our minds reach out to where we want to be. But carried thus impersonally on, We hardly see that person opposite Who, if we only knew it, might be one… Continue reading Philip Larkin
What are days for? Days are where we live. — Philip Larkin, from “Days,” The Whitsun Weddings. (Faber & Faber; Later Printing edition January 1971) Originally published 1964.