Nothing To Be Said

Philip Larkin 1922 (Coventry) – 1985 (Hull)



For nations vague as weed,
For nomads among stones,
Small-statured cross-faced tribes
And cobble-close families
In mill-towns on dark mornings
Life is slow dying.

So are their separate ways
Of building, benediction,
Measuring love and money
Ways of slow dying.
The day spent hunting pig
Or holding a garden-party,

Hours giving evidence
Or birth, advance
On death equally slowly.
And saying so to some
Means nothing; others it leaves
Nothing to be said.
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Submitted by RobertHaigh on July 29, 2020

Modified on April 17, 2023

21 sec read
250

Quick analysis:

Scheme XXXXXA XXBAXB XXBXXX
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 435
Words 73
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6

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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