Daily Archives: February 28, 2010

Sunday Poem 28

I have had a request for a poem by Philip Larkin and, as I exist only to satisfy my public, Philip Larkin you shall have.  And isn’t it the truth.

Love Songs in Age – by Philip Larkin (1922-85)

She kept her songs, they took so little space,
     The covers pleased her:
One bleached from lying in a sunny place,
One marked in circles by a vase of water,
One mended, when a tidy fit had seized her,
     And coloured, by her daughter –
So they had waited, till in widowhood
She found them, looking for something else, and stood

Relearning how each frank submissive chord
     Had ushered in
Word after sprawling hyphenated word,
And the unfailing sense of being young
Spread out like a spring-woken tree, wherein
     That hidden freshness sung,
That certainty of time laid up in store
As when she played them first.  But, even more,

The glare of that much-mentioned brilliance, love,
     Broke out to show
Its bright incipience sailing above,
Still promising to solve, and satisfy,
And set unchangeably in order.  So
     To pile them back, to cry
Was hard, without lamely admitting how
It had not done so then, and could not now.


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