Philip Larkin / Adrian Mitchell

This Be The Verse

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.

 

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)

This Be the Worst

They tuck you up, your mum and dad,

They read you Peter Rabbit, too.

They give you all the treats they had

And add some extra, just for you.

 

They were tucked up when they were small,

(Pink perfume, blue tobacco-smoke),

By those whose kiss healed any fall,

Whose laughter doubled any joke.

 

Man hands on happiness to man,

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

So love your parents all you can

And have some cheerful kids yourself.

 

Source: All Shook Up: Poems 1997-2000 (Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 2001)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s