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To Failure

Philip Larkin 1922 (Coventry) – 1985 (Hull)



You do not come dramatically, with dragons
That rear up with my life between their paws
And dash me butchered down beside the wagons,
The horses panicking; nor as a clause
Clearly set out to warn what can be lost,
What out-of-pocket charges must be borne,
Expenses met; nor as a draughty ghost
That's seen, some mornings, running down a lawn.

It is these sunless afternoons, I find,
Instal you at my elbow like a bore.
The chestnut trees are caked with silence. I'm
Aware the days pass quicker than before,
Smell staler too. And once they fall behind
They look like ruin. You have been here some time.
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Submitted by RobertHaigh on June 10, 2020

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Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin was born in 1922 and grew up in Coventry, England. He earned his BA from St John's College, Oxford, and finished with First Class Honours in English. In 1955 he became Librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, a post he held until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. more…

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1 Comment

  • kohlbicox
    This reminds me of a knight getting prepared for a fight with his horse and he is sad emotional and painful and then ding ding ding i'm coming home to heaven. i'm finally i'm home in peace but no it still gets loud again but quiet loud in a tone to were you can deal with it. 
    LikeReplyReport8 months ago

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"To Failure" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 Jun 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/53637/to-failure>.

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