November 11, 2007

poppy Remembrance Day 2007.

“MCMXIV” from Philip Larkin. It’s modern poetry, but it’s done well.

    Those long uneven lines
    Standing as patiently
    As if they were stretched outside
    The Oval or Villa Park,
    The crowns of hats, the sun
    On moustached archaic faces
    Grinning as if it were all
    An August Bank Holiday lark;

    And the shut shops, the bleached
    Established names on the sunblinds,
    The farthings and sovereigns,
    And dark-clothed children at play
    Called after kings and queens,
    The tin advertisements
    For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
    Wide open all day;

    And the countryside not caring
    The place-names all hazed over
    With flowering grasses, and fields
    Shadowing Domesday lines
    Under wheats’ restless silence;
    The differently-dressed servants
    With tiny rooms in huge houses,
    The dust behind limousines;

    Never such innocence,
    Never before or since,
    As changed itself to past
    Without a word–the men
    Leaving the gardens tidy,
    The thousands of marriages
    Lasting a little while longer:
    Never such innocence again.