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.
Philip Larkin, “This Be the Verse.”
The second child and only son of two
“awkward” and “shy” parents, Larkin
recalled his childhood in the 1920s as “dull,
pot-bound, and slightly mad.” His poetry
collection The less deceived appeared
in 1955, the same year he became the
librarian at the University of Hull in
Yorkshire. As to why he preferred not to
give poetry readings, Larkin remarked, “I
don’t want to go around pretending to be
me.” He died at the age of sixty-two in
1985. Larkin never married and didn’t
have any kids himself.