Alone now, in my dark room, The pebbles cease to drop into the rocking pool And gradually the surface quietens Reflecting image of darkest peace and silence. No questions catch the clothes But only as it were a spreading Draws all threads to their finished pattern And you are pieced together bit by bit Set… Continue reading Philip Larkin
And you are pieced together bit by bit Set against the evening Lovely and glowing, like a chain of gold. — Philip Larkin, from “(A Study in Light and Dark),” The Complete Poems, ed. Archie Burnett (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012)
[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
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.
What will survive of us is love. — Philip Larkin, from “An Arundel Tomb,” The Whitsun Weddings. (Faber & Faber; Later Printing edition January 1971) Originally published 1964.
They say eyes clear with age, As dew clarifies air To sharpen evenings, As if time put an edge Round the last shape of things To show them there; The many-levelled trees, To long soft tides of grass Wrinkling away the gold Wind-ridden waves—all these, They say, come back into focus As we grow old.… Continue reading Philip Larkin