Thursday, August 07, 2008
Parenting Advice from Philip Larkin
According to Alastair from sadly soon to be shut Alastair's Heart Monitor, Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was reputedly a miserable, bad-tempered, unreasonable, anti-social, nasty bit of work. My father liked him so it must be true to degree.
He introduced me to this beauty. I can identify with a lot of it, but am not sad to have had children. My cousin had a vasectomy when he was twenty six, so sure was he about his desire not to pass on his misery. Larkin wrote this when he was my age, so he had had time to reflect.
This Be The Verse
by Philip Larkin
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.