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Philip Larkin ponders ordinary lives in his poems: a Saturday show; travelling salesmen; young love. At the seaside "Everything crowds under the low horizon: / Steep beach, blue water, towels, read bathing caps, / The small hushed waves' repeated fresh collapse / Up the warm yellow sand". There's an almost Shakespearian obsession with ageing and passing time in the poems collected in High Windows. "What do they think has happened, the old fools, to make them like this?...Why aren't they screaming?" Larkin asks of the elderly. His answer: "Well, we shall find out." In the titular poem he watches young lovers and wonders "if anyone looked at me, forty years back, and thought, That'll be the life". But it's hard to see into the future or the past: you have to strain, as if looking through a high window, and even then you may only get a glimpse of light through the "sun-comprehending glass."
High Windows was first published in 1974 and some critics disliked Larkin's work for its lack of experiment and familiar subject matter. Yet even at its most traditional, Larkin's writing can be striking as, in "This Be The Verse", it encapsulates prosaic truths with plain language and gentle wit:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.--Tamsin Todd Book Description:
They may not mean to but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
Re-packaged in the much-loved Faber typographic look.
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Book Description Faber and Faber, 1999. Soft cover. Condition: New. New & unopened part of the stock of a closing down Book Shop - slight darkening of text block - Guaranteed posting 24hrs from St Ives Sp5. Seller Inventory # 012151
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