Wednesday, April 11

'Where can we live but days?' - 'Days', by Larkin


What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Philip Larkin


The first stanza seems stronger: I don't like the 'Ah,' which niggles at the rest of that stanza for me. But, arguably the images of the second stanza are needed to ground the poem, give the reader some tether?

I cannot read this poem without thinking of 'The Hours': try reading it if you've not yet, you'll see what I mean.


Whenever I lend a friend a book (even if it's something I've only recently reread, and hence am likely not to want to reread straight away), I find there's a certain possessiveness associated with my books. I will think I want to check them, just to ensure, that they are there. Ridiculous, especially when I'm palming them off on a certain person so I can hear their 'gah's & wonders about the book... but it exists, still, it punches my lending books out freely.


'truth. Gobble it, think
of that dribbling silk
tight over eyes;
listen, diligently,
for the crack – of the
upturn of my gob.'

Too close? I like the relationship between the two people by the use of 'Gobble' and 'gob', though, it's integral to this poem. Whether the association would be there enough should I use 'upturn of my mouth', I'm undecided. 'Gob' jarrs, resists a bit more.