Thursday, 7 October 2010

National Poetry Day: 'This Be The Verse'

Photo from

I've just found out, via Oh Mammy's blog, that today is National Poetry Day. 

One of my favourites is Peter Dixon's 'Oh Bring Back Higher Standards' which I blogged about last year because it reminds me of my time at a very stuffy grammar school.

Below is my chosen poem for this year. It's by no means a favourite. In fact I loathed studying Philip Larkin at school and I'm still not enamoured of him now. This poem caused quite a stir amongst us, possibly because of the language, and possibly because it rather resonated with us as a group of kids going through that teenage rebellious phase. Don't read on if you're offended by 'bad' language! 

This Be The Verse - Philip Larkin (1922 - 1980)

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. 

My school days obviously had quite an impact on me as my chosen poems hark back to that era. I wonder what that says about me? Hmmm?



  1. I love that poem. Just popped over from BMB, where I've shared mine.

  2. Wicked - I'd never heard that one - I feel all cultural :)


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