Now I call myself a poet I sometimes get asked things like 'so who's your favourite poet then?' It's kind of an odd question...really I like bits of poems, lines here and there, ideas, sounds, juxtapositions...but the question wants an answer and there is one really so in the end I usually give it. I am very partial to both the poems and the humour and misery of the poet pictured above (Philip Larkin 1922-1985). I don't want to witter on about him but here are a couple of his poems - the first from 1955's 'The Less Deceived' and the second from 1964's 'The Whitsun Weddings'. To me he looked life right in its ugly face...well, in his poetry anyway.
Poetry of Departures
Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand, As epitaph: He chucked up everything And just cleared off, And always the voice will sound Certain you approve This audacious, purifying, Elemental move.
And they are right, I think. We all hate home And having to be there: I detest my room, Its specially-chosen junk, The good books, the good bed, And my life, in perfect order: So to hear it said
He walked out on the whole crowd Leaves me flushed and stirred, Like Then she undid her dress Or Take that you bastard; Surely I can, if he did? And that helps me to stay Sober and industrious. But I'd go today,
Yes, swagger the nut-strewn roads, Crouch in the fo'c'sle Stubbly with goodness, if It weren't so artificial, Such a deliberate step backwards To create an object: Books; china; a life Reprehensibly perfect.
by Philip Larkin
What are days for? Days are where we live. They come, they wake us Time and time over. They are to be happy in: Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question Brings the priest and the doctor In their long coats Running over the fields.
by Philip Larkin
You can hear the second poem via this clip too...
And there's an old post of mine with some Larkin quotes back here.
Originally from the north of England, I live in Angus, Scotland where I walk a lot, think a lot, listen to lots of music, sometimes write poems, sometimes read poems out to other people, sometimes write songs, read all kinds of odd things, watch a bit...oh and I look after my family too.
I sometimes organise poetry and music events - details are usually here (though nothing coming up in the near future). This year I went travelling with my family - photos and notes are here. Now we're back I have moved to a new regular blog - it is here.
More about the song
You can buy my book (published 2008) from my website if you fancy it (go to 'book' page) or from www.amazon.co.uk if you prefer the comfort of the multinational corporation. My book is printed on recycled paper and card. I have 12 different poetry postcards available too.