I absolutely love the idea that Larkin would dress like this for a picnic on the Yorkshire Moors …
We looked at Philip Larkin’s life and times when celebrating his birthday back in August – click here for that post.
What more can we say?
We can let Larkin speak for himself through his work. I love ‘Wild Oats‘ because it’s so typically Larkin, finding something profound (and pretty bleak) to say in the mundane everyday language and events of our lives. Here it is:
About twenty years ago
Two girls came in where I worked—
A bosomy English rose
And her friend in specs I could talk to.
Faces in those days sparked
The whole shooting-match off, and I doubt
If ever one had like hers:
But it was the friend I took out,
And in seven years after that
Wrote over four hundred letters,
Gave a ten-guinea ring
I got back in the end, and met
At numerous cathedral cities
Unknown to the clergy. I believe
I met beautiful twice. She was trying
Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.
Parting, after about five
Rehearsals, was an agreement
That I was too selfish, withdrawn,
And easily bored to love.
Well, useful to get that learnt.
In my wallet are still two snaps
Of bosomy rose with fur gloves on.
Unlucky charms, perhaps.