Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Träumerei, a poem by Philip Larkin.

Post 618 - Philip Arthur Larkin, CH, CBE, FRSL, was born in Coventry, England in 1922. He attended St. John's College, Oxford and his first book of poetry, The North Ship, was published in 1945. After college, he served as university librarian at the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull for 30 years. During that time, he was the recipient of many honors, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. He was offered, but declined, the position of poet laureate in 1984, following the death of John Betjeman. Larkin was chosen in a 2003 Poetry Book Society survey, almost two decades after his death, as Britain's best-loved poet of the previous 50 years, and in 2008 The Times named him Britain's greatest post-war writer.
Deeply anti-social and a great lover and published critic of American jazz, Larkin never married and lived out his days in the provincial city of Hull, where he died from cancer in 1985.

He once said that deprivation for him was what daffodils were for Wordsworth!

Philip Larkin - Träumerei.

In this dream that dogs me I am part
Of a silent crowd walking under a wall,
Leaving a football match, perhaps, or a pit,
All moving the same way. After a while
A second wall closes on our right,
Pressing us tighter. We are now shut in
Like pigs down a concrete passage. When I lift
My head, I see the walls have killed the sun,
And light is cold. Now a giant whitewashed D
Comes on the second wall, but much too high
For them to recognize: I await the E,
Watch it approach and pass. By now
We have ceased walking and travel
Like water through sewers, steeply, despite
The tread that goes on ringing like an anvil
Under the striding A. I crook
My arm to shield my face, for we must pass
Beneath the huge, decapitated cross,
White on the wall, the T, and I cannot halt
The tread, the beat of it, it is my own heart,
The walls of my room rise, it is still night,
I have woken again before the word was spelt.

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