Friday, December 5, 2008

Poetry Friday

One of my favorite college professors was fond of shocking a class of freshman by reciting Philip Larkin's "This be the verse," which is a wonderful poem that I won't quote here, but it's a dark, cold Friday and it wasn't an entirely cheery week for the world, so let there be Larkin (also, I often reread his Church Going):

Sad Steps

Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon's cleanliness.

Four o'clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There's something laughable about this,

The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

High and preposterous and separate -
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,

One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare

Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can't come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Gad, I love Larkin. I once won a bottle of wine from a professor for offering up a forgery of Larkin that my classmates thought was real Larkin. My proudest moment in graduate school! Thanks for posting this.