Friday, July 25, 2008

Home is so Sad by Philip Larkin

Home may be sad, but I don't find this poem to be. It's quiet, clever and intense. Larkin's music--the way he ebbs and flows within the form--is just gorgeous. Notice how the last few images resonate.

Home is so Sad

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

Philip Larkin was born in 1922 in Coventry, England. Like Thomas Hardy, he focused on intense personal emotion but strictly avoided sentimentality or self-pity. Deeply anti-social and a great lover (and published critic) of American jazz, Larkin never married and conducted an uneventful life as a librarian in the provincial city of Hull, where he died in 1985.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The British pronunciation of vase is a must here.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

"shaped to the comfort of the last to go as if to win them back."

brilliant line...because it's true.

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Blogger Aida Zahrol said...

home is so sad...really~

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Blogger Michael Reid said...

Larkin is quite depressing... but great.

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Blogger Rachael said...

It feels as if it ends abruptly. Keep going...want to hear more of the home :)

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Blogger Maggie May said...

this is so beautifully musical

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Blogger johnnyahn1 said...

What does it mean by long fallen wide? I never understood this portion

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