Philip Larkin


This Be The Verse…

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.


Darn, too late, I had kids…I even read this poem years ago before  I had any children, and despite seeing both the wisdom and the truth, I still had them.  I love the rawness and truth of the fact that pain gets passed from generation to generation, and I guess that’s my challenge and my calling – to see if we can turn that around !


  1. I discovered this poem a few years ago.
    I’m wondering whether I should get it framed and put in the nursery? As a reminder that I don’t need to turn into my mother! *laughs*