I totally teach this poem. I *heart* Larkin.
Larkin is the poet whose work speaks to me most consistently. I think I need to put his collected works on my kindle.
That’s a great poem! I also love “High Windows” by Larkin. He does such great things with form and diction in that poem. He starts with informal and harsh language (and no end rhyme), and then the structure gets more regular as he goes along and the consonant sounds get softer. It’s a great one for showing students how form and content can reflect one another.
I was turned on to Larkin as an undergraduate, and I’d totally forgotten this one. But the moment he started, I knew it was Larkin, and I thought, maybe it’s time to go back to poetry. Going to graduate school ruined me as a reader of poetry: for that you have to read slowly and linger, and in grad school, I learned to read a book in three hours. One of the many things that grad school has to answer for!
I’ve never been a huge poetry person, but some poets I just get. And now, I can’t read anything quickly — too out of practice!
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