The difficult part of love
Is being selfish enough,
Is having the blind persistence
To upset an existence
Just for your own sake.
What cheek it may take.
And then the unselfish side –
How can you be satisfied,
Putting someone else first
So that you come off worst?
My life is for me.
As well ignore gravity.
Still, vicious or virtuous,
Love suits most of us.
Only the bleeder found
Selfish this wrong way round
Is ever wholly rebuffed,
And he can get stuffed.
It’s about give and it’s about take…
We don’t know, but we hear something and make a judgment then, we hear something else and we either become dogmatic or we reevaluate our previous perspective…
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, High Windows (1974)
Point & Counterpoint
‘Philip Larkin, racist, bigot and poet’
John Newsinger (2017)
‘In search of the real Philip Larkin’
Rachel Cooke (2010)