Some Larkin…


He sighed with relief. He had got the job. He was safe.

Putting on his gown, he prepared for the long years to come

That he saw, stretching like aisles of stone

Before him. He prepared for the unreal life

Of exercises, marks, honour, speech days, and games,

And the interesting and pretty animals that inspired it all

And made him a god. No, he would never fail.


Others, of course, had spoken of the claims

Of living: they were merely desperate.

His defense of Youth and Service silenced it.


It was acted as he planned: grown old and favourite,

With most Old Boys he was quite intimate –

For though he never realised it, he

Dissolved. (Like sugar in a cup of tea.)


–Philip Larkin

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