ABOUT THIS EPISODE
We have conversations with people about a poem that has been a friend to them. In exchange we make them a gift: a unique recording of their chosen poem, inspired by the conversation and their thoughts and feelings about the poem.
The Poetry Exchange takes place in a range of venues and settings, featuring public visitors and special guests.
In this episode of our podcast, you will hear Hannah talk about the poem that has been a friend to her: 'This Be The Verse' by Philip Larkin.
We are delighted to feature 'This Be The Verse' in this episode and would like to thank Faber and Faber for allowing us to use it in this way.
Hannah visited The Poetry Exchange at St Chad's College Chapel in Durham, during Durham Book Festival, in association with Durham University Foundation Programme. We’re very grateful to all our Durham partners for hosting us so warmly.
Hannah is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, John Prebble and Michael Shaeffer.
'This Be The Verse' is read by Michael Shaeffer.
This Be The Verse
By Philip Larkin
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And 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.
Philip Larkin, "This Be the Verse" from Collected Poems. Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin. Reproduced by permission of Faber and Faber, Ltd.
Source: The Complete Poems (Faber and Faber, 2014)
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