Thursday, August 25, 2005

Doing a Larkin.

Let me post my own attempt to do a Larkin, that is, try to recreate a fleeting feeling in verse.

Were we introduced again,
I will not stand frozen hapless,
Like someone caught in sudden rain.

Ok, its not a great poem. But its my blog.

Larkin's 'Coming'

There are few things more difficult in poetry than to bring alive a single moment, a single feeling, just as it was felt, before it disappeared. Larkin is the master of the epiphany.

No poet creates a moment as effectively as Larkin does. It is this skill that makes him such a great artist, and lacking this talent, his poems will get tiresome. You meet the cynical old man in every poem, whose childhood is dull, the people he meets superficial and unworthy of consideration. Yet he has an appeal, because this grouchy old man observes the world stripped of all pretension.

I have a strange favourite among Larkin's poems - Coming.

On longer evenings,
Light, chill and yellow
Bathes the serene
Foreheads of houses.
A thrush sings,
In the bare deep garden,
Its fresh-peeled voice
Astonishing the woodwork.

It will be spring soon,
It will be spring soon-
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feels like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adults reconciling
And can understand nothing
Except the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.

It is not as popular as some of his other works, but I still love it more, as it brings to life this moment where you are alone somewhere with nature, and you feel its beauty, but at the same time its mysteriousness. Just like a child who feels happy on seeing adults around him happy, though does not always understand why.

But Larkin could not keep the grouchy old man out of this poem either.

And I, whose childhood
is a forgotten boredom.

Some people never change.