The spirit of Philip Larkin lives on


Philip Larkin’s seminal poem, This be the verse,  is a cultural icon in the poetry world as it bemoans the difficulty of adolescence.

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.

Someone I know took a 21st approach on facebook today that
made me laugh. 
I guess I shouldn't have and so I have protected the identity
of the individual in question.

The latter day larkin

2 thoughts on “The spirit of Philip Larkin lives on

  1. Andrew Horberry contributed the following on facebook. Outstanding….

    One week, The New Statesman (magazine, not tv programme, for the benefit of younger viewers) challenged its readers to fundamentally change the meaning of a well-known piece of writing as economically as possible. The winner wrote: “They tuck you up, your mum and dad”. Genius.

    Like

  2. I was sent this too…

    Here be the curse

    They fuck you up, your son and daughter

    They may not mean to, but they do

    They bleed you like a lamb at slaughter

    Break your heart and bankrupt you.

    But they’ll be fucked up in their turn

    By the next cruel generation

    For children spend all you can earn

    Adjusting for inflation

    Kids hand misery up to Man

    They grow up, leave and don’t miss you

    Abort, adopt – do what you can

    Avoid the dreaded issue.

    Like

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