Philip Larkin - "This Is 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 hadAnd add some extra, just for you.But they were fucked up in their turnBy fools in old-style hats and coats,Who half the time were soppy-sternAnd 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.
For my Leaving Cert, this was the one poem that stuck with me the most. It was harsh, pessimistic but the poet seemed certain in his belief. Only as I have gotten older have I realised how much of this is true of people [depending on your situation] but it really highlights how there is no such thing as a perfect family and how everyone has a story to tell. It's what annoys me most about people who gossip about others because they really have no idea what that person has been through. Everyone is themselves, individual, due to their experiences and familial background. It's a colourful brush and no-one is painted the same colour.
One thing I take from this poem is the whole "silent, strong" era of men in the 1930's and 1940's. To be emotionally in touch with your children was not acceptable. It was a sign of weakness. We studied Irish dramatist Brian Friel's "Philadelphia, Here I Come!" as well for the Leaving Cert which showed the damage men of that era inflicted upon their children emotionally and mentally without meaning to. It's a very Irish thing and unfortunately reminds me greatly of my granddad and dad's relationship. At any rate, I think it's a dark and solemn poem that speaks to many people and while I'm after darkening the tone of Garnish with the Bizarre with this big long spiel, I've got to say I just wanted to bring something deep and meaningful to the table ;) :P Did I succeed!?!
To lighten the mood, here's lovely relaxing tunes from Jamie of the xx;
Edit: WOOOOPS! What a downer for Father's Day. I love my dad. Show yours some love too and don't show them Philip Larkin's poem! Happy Father's Day!