Tuesday, April 10, 2012

News at Eleven: Read one after the next in this huge,

overstuffed volume, [Philip] Larkin's poems can leave the reader feeling suffocated by his willful gloom. Even the most pleasant or benign events can send his narrators into paroxysms of misanthropy or despondency.

A glimpse of puppies leads to an image of children burying the once "living toys," their novelty now expired, with a shovel and a shoebox. And mowing the lawn results in a hedgehog's getting stuck in the mower blades, and this melancholy meditation: "The first day after a death, the new absence/Is always the same; we should be careful/Of each other, we should be kind/While there is still time."

from The New York Times: A Master of Verse Spreads Bad Cheer


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