Modesties

Philip Larkin 1922 (Coventry) – 1985 (Hull)



Words as plain as hen-birds' wings
Do not lie,
Do not over-broider things -
Are too shy.

Thoughts that shuffle round like pence
Through each reign,
Wear down to their simplest sense
Yet remain.

Weeds are not supposed to grow
But by degrees
Some achieve a flower, although
No one sees.
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Submitted by RobertHaigh on August 09, 2020

Modified on March 14, 2023

15 sec read
68

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 273
Words 51
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4

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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