Phillip 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 cavernous, a wind-pierced sky.
There's something laughable about this,

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

High and preposterous and separateó
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.

Disclaimer: I have no permission from anyone to put this up on the Web. It is very possibly a complete violation of extant copyright law. However, I do have a life (although it may not be obvious to the casual onlooker), and typing all this up is a complete and utter labor of my unabashed hero worship for the person quoted above. So don't sue, please.

back to poems and other necessities
back to the main page