Philip Larkin
Wires by Philip Larkin

Wires by Philip Larkin

The widest prairies have electric fences, For though old cattle know they must not stray Young steers are always scenting purer water Not here but anywhere. Beyond the wires ...

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Wild Oats by Philip Larkin

Wild Oats by Philip Larkin

About twenty years ago Two girls came in where I worked - A bosomy English rose And her friend in specs I could talk to. Faces in those days sparked The whole shooting-match ...

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Why Did I Dream Of You Last Night? by Philip Larkin

Why Did I Dream Of You Last Night? by Philip Larkin

Why did I dream of you last night? Now morning is pushing back hair with grey light Memories strike home, like slaps in the face; Raised on elbow, I stare at the pale fog ...

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When First We Faced, And Touching Showed by Philip Larkin

When First We Faced, And Touching Showed by Philip Larkin

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 ...

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Whatever Happened? by Philip Larkin

Whatever Happened? by Philip Larkin

At once whatever happened starts receding. Panting, and back on board, we line the rail With trousers ripped, light wallets, and lips bleeding. Yes, gone, thank God! ...

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Wedding Wind by Philip Larkin

Wedding Wind by Philip Larkin

The wind blew all my wedding-day, And my wedding-night was the night of the high wind; And a stable door was banging, again and again, That he must go and shut it, leaving me ...

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Water by Philip Larkin

Water by Philip Larkin

If I were called in To construct a religion I should make use of water. Going to church Would entail a fording To dry, different clothes; My liturgy would employ Images ...

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Wants by Philip Larkin

Wants by Philip Larkin

Beyond all this, the wish to be alone: However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards However we follow the printed directions of sex However the family is photographed under ...

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Vers De SociÉTÉ by Philip Larkin

Vers De SociÉTÉ by Philip Larkin

My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps You'd care to join us? In a pig's arse, friend. Day comes to an end. The gas fire ...

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Triple Time by Philip Larkin

Triple Time by Philip Larkin

This empty street, this sky to blandness scoured, This air, a little indistinct with autumn Like a reflection, constitute the present -- A time traditionally soured, A time ...

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TrÄUmerei by Philip Larkin

TrÄUmerei by Philip Larkin

In this dream that dogs me I am part Of a silent crowd walking under a wall, Leaving a football match, perhaps, or a pit, All moving the same way. After a while A second wall ...

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Toads Revisited by Philip Larkin

Toads Revisited by Philip Larkin

Walking around in the park Should feel better than work: The lake, the sunshine, The grass to lie on, Blurred playground noises Beyond black-stockinged nurses - Not a bad ...

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Toads by Philip Larkin

Toads by Philip Larkin

Why should I let the toad work Squat on my life? Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork And drive the brute off? Six days of the week it soils With its sickening poison - Just ...

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To Put One Brick Upon Another by Philip Larkin

To Put One Brick Upon Another by Philip Larkin

To put one brick upon another, Add a third and then a forth, Leaves no time to wonder whether What you do has any worth. But to sit with bricks around you While the winds ...

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To My Wife by Philip Larkin

To My Wife by Philip Larkin

Choice of you shuts up that peacock-fan The future was, in which temptingly spread All that elaborative nature can. Matchless potential! but unlimited Only so long as I ...

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To Failure by Philip Larkin

To Failure by Philip Larkin

You do not come dramatically, with dragons That rear up with my life between their paws And dash me butchered down beside the wagons, The horses panicking; nor as a clause ...

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This Is The First Thing by Philip Larkin

This Is The First Thing by Philip Larkin

This is the first thing I have understood: Time is the echo of an axe Within a wood.

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The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin

The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin

That Whitsun, I was late getting away: Not till about One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out, All windows down, all cushions hot, all ...

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The View by Philip Larkin

The View by Philip Larkin

The view is fine from fifty, Experienced climbers say; So, overweight and shifty, I turn to face the way That led me to this day. Instead of fields and snowcaps And ...

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The Trees by Philip Larkin

The Trees by Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born again And we ...

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The Spirit Wooed by Philip Larkin

The Spirit Wooed by Philip Larkin

Once I believed in you, And then you came, Unquestionably new, as fame Had said you were. But that was long ago. You launched no argument, Yet I obeyed, Straightaway, the ...

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The School In August by Philip Larkin

The School In August by Philip Larkin

The cloakroom pegs are empty now, And locked the classroom door, The hollow desks are lined with dust, And slow across the floor A sunbeam creeps between the chairs ...

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The Old Fools by Philip Larkin

The Old Fools by Philip Larkin

What do they think has happened, the old fools, To make them like this? Do they somehow suppose It's more grown-up when your mouth hangs open and drools, And you keep on ...

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The North Ship by Philip Larkin

The North Ship by Philip Larkin

I saw three ships go sailing by, Over the sea, the lifting sea, And the wind rose in the morning sky, And one was rigged for a long journey. The first ship turned towards ...

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The Mower by Philip Larkin

The Mower by Philip Larkin

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found A hedgehog jammed up against the blades, Killed. It had been in the long grass. I had seen it before, and even fed it, once. Now ...

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The Little Lives Of Earth And Form by Philip Larkin

The Little Lives Of Earth And Form by Philip Larkin

The little lives of earth and form, Of finding food, and keeping warm, Are not like ours, and yet A kinship lingers nonetheless: We hanker for the homeliness Of den, and ...

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The Importance Of Elsewhere by Philip Larkin

The Importance Of Elsewhere by Philip Larkin

Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home, Strangeness made sense. The salt rebuff of speech, Insisting so on difference, made me welcome: Once that was recognised, we were in ...

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The Explosion by Philip Larkin

The Explosion by Philip Larkin

On the day of the explosion Shadows pointed towards the pithead: In thesun the slagheap slept. Down the lane came men in pitboots Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke ...

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The Building by Philip Larkin

The Building by Philip Larkin

Higher than the handsomest hotel The lucent comb shows up for miles, but see, All round it close-ribbed streets rise and fall Like a great sigh out of the last century. The ...

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Talking In Bed by Philip Larkin

Talking In Bed by Philip Larkin

Talking in bed ought to be easiest, Lying together there goes back so far, An emblem of two people being honest. Yet more and more time passes silently. Outside, the wind's ...

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Take One Home For The Kiddies by Philip Larkin

Take One Home For The Kiddies by Philip Larkin

On shallow straw, in shadeless glass, Huddled by empty bowls, they sleep: No dark, no dam, no earth, no grass - Mam, get us one of them to keep. Living toys are something ...

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Sunny Prestatyn by Philip Larkin

Sunny Prestatyn by Philip Larkin

Come to Sunny Prestatyn Laughed the girl on the poster, Kneeling up on the sand In tautened white satin. Behind her, a hunk of coast, a Hotel with palms Seemed to expand ...

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Story by Philip Larkin

Story by Philip Larkin

Tired of a landscape known too well when young: The deliberate shallow hills, the boring birds Flying past rocks; tired of remembering The village children and their naughty ...

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Solar by Philip Larkin

Solar by Philip Larkin

Suspended lion face Spilling at the centre Of an unfurnished sky How still you stand, And how unaided Single stalkless flower You pour unrecompensed. The eye sees you ...

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Skin by Philip Larkin

Skin by Philip Larkin

Obedient daily dress, You cannot always keep That unfakable young surface. You must learn your lines - Anger, amusement, sleep; Those few forbidding signs Of the ...

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Since The Majority Of Me by Philip Larkin

Since The Majority Of Me by Philip Larkin

Since the majority of me Rejects the majority of you, Debating ends forwith, and we Divide. And sure of what to do We disinfect new blocks of days For our majorities to ...

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Send No Money by Philip Larkin

Send No Money by Philip Larkin

Standing under the fobbed Impendent belly of Time Tell me the truth, I said, Teach me the way things go. All the other lads there Were itching to have a bash, But I thought ...

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Sad Steps by Philip Larkin

Sad Steps by Philip Larkin

Groping back to bed after a piss I part the thick curtains, and am startled by The rapid clouds, the moon's cleanliness. Four o'clock: wedge-shaped gardens lie Under a ...

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Reasons For Attendance by Philip Larkin

Reasons For Attendance by Philip Larkin

The trumpet's voice, loud and authoritative, Draws me a moment to the lighted glass To watch the dancers - all under twenty-five - Solemnly on the beat of happiness. - Or so ...

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Poetry Of Departures by Philip Larkin

Poetry Of Departures by Philip Larkin

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, ...

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On Being Twenty-Six by Philip Larkin

On Being Twenty-Six by Philip Larkin

I feared these present years, The middle twenties, When deftness disappears, And each event is Freighted with a source-encrusting doubt, And turned to drought. I ...

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Nothing To Be Said by Philip Larkin

Nothing To Be Said by Philip Larkin

For nations vague as weed, For nomads among stones, Small-statured cross-faced tribes And cobble-close families In mill-towns on dark mornings Life is slow dying. So are ...

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No Road by Philip Larkin

No Road by Philip Larkin

Since we agreed to let the road between us Fall to disuse, And bricked our gates up, planted trees to screen us, And turned all time's eroding agents loose, Silence, and ...

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Night Music by Philip Larkin

Night Music by Philip Larkin

At one the wind rose, And with it the noise Of the black poplars. Long since had the living By a thin twine Been led into their dreams Where lanterns shine Under a still ...

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Next Please by Philip Larkin

Next Please by Philip Larkin

Always too eager for the future, we Pick up bad habits of expectancy. Something is always approaching; every day Till then we say, Watching from a bluff the tiny, clear ...

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New Eyes Each Year by Philip Larkin

New Eyes Each Year by Philip Larkin

New eyes each year Find old books here, And new books,too, Old eyes renew; So youth and age Like ink and page In this house join, Minting new coin.

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Myxomatosis by Philip Larkin

Myxomatosis by Philip Larkin

Caught in the center of a soundless field While hot inexplicable hours go by What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed? You seem to ask. I make a sharp reply, Then ...

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Mr Bleaney by Philip Larkin

Mr Bleaney by Philip Larkin

'This was Mr Bleaney's room. He stayed The whole time he was at the Bodies, till They moved him.' Flowered curtains, thin and frayed, Fall to within five inches of the sill, ...

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Mother, Summer, I by Philip Larkin

Mother, Summer, I by Philip Larkin

My mother, who hates thunder storms, Holds up each summer day and shakes It out suspiciously, lest swarms Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there; But when the August weather ...

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Money by Philip Larkin

Money by Philip Larkin

Quarterly, is it, money reproaches me: 'Why do you let me lie here wastefully? I am all you never had of goods and sex, You could get them still by writing a few cheques.' ...

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