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September 28, 2017

Quotations by Philip Larkin


PHILIP LARKIN (1922–1985) WAS A RENOWNED POET AND NOVELIST IN POSTWAR ENGLAND.

“Life is first boredom, then fear. Whether or not we use it, it goes, And leaves what something hidden from us chose,    And age, and then the only end of age.”  ~ Philip Larkin, Dockery and Son

“So many things I had thought forgotten
 Return to my mind with stranger pain:
- Like letters that arrive addressed to someone
Who left the house so many years ago.”
~ Philip Larkin, Why Did I Dream of You Last Night?

“Uncontradicting solitude
Supports me on its giant palm;
And like a sea-anemone
Or simple snail, there cautiously
Unfolds, emerges, what I am.”
~ Philip Larkin, Best Society

“… it never worked for me.
Something to do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,
And arrogant eternity.”
~ Philip Larkin, Love Again

“This is the first thing
I have understood:
Time is the echo of an axe
Within a wood.”
~ Philip Larkin, “XXVI,” The North Ship

“I have a sense of melancholy isolation, life rapidly vanishing, all the usual things. It's very strange how often strong feelings don't seem to carry any message of action.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“How little our careers express what lies in us, and yet how much time they take up. It's sad, really.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“Morning, noon & bloody night,
Seven sodding days a week,
I slave at filthy WORK, that might
Be done by any book-drunk freak.
This goes on until I kick the bucket.
FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“I feel the only thing you can do about life is to preserve it, by art if you're an artist, by children if you're not.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“… In everyone there sleeps
A sense of life lived according to love.
To some it means the difference they could make
By loving others, but across most it sweeps
As all they might have done had they been loved.
That nothing cures ...”
~ Philip Larkin, Faith Healing

“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

“Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose,
And age, and then the only end of age.”

~ Philip Larkin, Dockery and Son

 “One of the quainter quirks of life is that we shall never know who dies on the same day as we do ourselves.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“… we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time”
~ Philip Larkin, The Mower

“Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.”
~ Philip Larkin, High Windows

“Since the majority of me
Rejects the majority of you,
Debating ends forwith, and we
Divide...”
~ Philip Larkin, Since The Majority Of Me

“Only in books the flat and final happens
Only in dreams we meet and interlock,”
~ Philip Larkin, Observation (1941)

“Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.”
~ Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings

“The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke...
Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can't come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.”
~ Philip Larkin, High Windows

“Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word – the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.”
~ Philip Larkin, MCMXIV

“And I am sick for want of sleep;
So sick, that I can half-believe
The soundless river pouring from the cave
Is neither strong nor deep;
Only an image fancied in conceit.”
~ Philip Larkin, “XVI”, The North Ship

“Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.”
~ Philip Larkin, An Arundel Tomb

“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.”
~ Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings

“I would not dare
Console you if I could. What can be said,
Except that suffering is exact, but where
Desire takes charge, readings will grow erratic?”
~ Philip Larkin, The Less Deceived

“Living toys are something novel,
But it soon wears off somehow.”
~ Philip Larkin, Take One Home for the Kiddies

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