The following analysis attempts some answers to these questions. Anthony Thwaite tentatively dates the poem to April , which means that Larkin was possibly in Loughborough with his mother for the Easter holidays. He worked as a librarian at the University of Hull, but during the university holidays would usually go and stay with his mother in Loughborough. Larkin was, by all accounts, a devoted son, who regularly went to visit his mother, who was prone to bouts of depression. Yet Larkin the poet could not shy away from examining and analysing the role that our parents play in shaping our own attitudes, behaviour, and prejudices. Does the apple fall far from the tree? Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me die.
This Be The Verse
This Be The Verse - Wikipedia
Sitting in a therapist's lately, we went over the abysmal state of my life. When the subject of my parents came up, I explained that, though I didn't feel like I'd ever truly connected with them, I didn't want to complain when, clearly, so many of my problems were my fault. My therapist said their lives sounded a lot like mine, that those with low self-esteem me often live lives preventing them from being happy, and what better model to follow than one I know works? When I thought about this later, it began making sense, so I drew two lines on a piece of paper, one plotting my parents' lives since my birth and one plotting mine since I left their house, and both looked exactly the same. When I went back, I asked my therapist, "If this is actually true, how can I break out? At the time of my birth in , my parents lived in a one-bedroom flat.
They Fuck You Up Your Mom and Dad
It was written around April , first published in the August issue of New Humanist , and appeared in the collection High Windows. It is one of Larkin's best-known poems; the opening lines "They fuck you up, your mum and dad" are among his most frequently quoted. Larkin himself compared it with W. Yeats 's " Lake Isle of Innisfree " and said he expected to hear it recited in his honour by a thousand Girl Guides before he died. It is frequently parodied.
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.