Friday, August 10, 2007

Quote of the day, 8/10/07

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.

-Philip Larkin


KH said...

You think Maggie Thatcher agreed?.

Renegade Evolution said...

and then, there comes a point where one says "I have to own my own shit"...

too bad so many people NEVER get there.

Cheers to cynical!

belledame222 said...

To be perfectly clear, I don't share the author's attitude in the ultimate paragraph. I don't actually think it gets worse and worse from generation to generation; I think on the whole, actually, the opposite has been true, even if there are Red Spot sized storms where it feels like all is but dissolution and degeneracy and decay and disillusionment and other good d words.

the rest of it is right on, though.

kh: not getting the Maggie ref in this instance.

Tom Nolan said...

This must be Larkin's most oft-quoted verse. But nobody picks up on the reference: Stevenson's Requiem:

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be:
Home is the sailor, home from the sea
And the hunter home from the hill.

By the way, anybody wanting to see my poor efforts in this direction (or indeed to know what I look like) should look here:

belledame222 said...

oh, and: I also don't think that the universal solution is "don't have any kids yourself." I do think that that might be true for some individuals, however. Unfortunately, the people who decide not to have kids and the ones who really shouldn't be in charge of minors are not always the same people.

belledame222 said...

Tom! Long time no see...

Tom Nolan said...

I'm in Oz, BD - limited internet access!

belledame222 said...

well, say hi to the Munchkins for me...

antiprincess said...

I love you.
haven't said that in a while.

JackGoff said...

OMG, Philip Larkin is all about the win.

KH said...

Larkin was famously a rightwing grump & vocal Thatcher aficionado & she in turn was a big fan of his (offered him the poet laureateship). But it's hard to picture her liking the actual poems. An odd couple. That's all.

Octogalore said...

I think as many parents make the different mistake of erring too far in the opposite direction from that which their own parents took. eg too much structure can become not enough; puritanical views about sex/alcohol can become overly permissive ones in the next generation. It's hard to predict which way it will go.

And then there are the parents that have gotten either therapy or some kind of realization a la Ren's suggestion, and don't repeat the same mistakes. There will of course be others made, but at least hopefully some eliminated from the list of possible parenting errors.

For some people, "fucked up" is an accurate assessment of parenting result, for others it's melodrama.

Octogalore said...

PS -- despite above over-literal and semi-defensive interpretation, love the poem.