A poem for Monday

It's been a while since we've had a poem. This has long been a favourite of mine, though I've never shared it here. I always worry it will betray my little melancholy soul, though that jig has probably been up for yonks. But, I find great beauty in its sadness too. This is Philip Larkin (yes, he's a recurring favourite)


Down stucco sidestreets,

Where light is pewter

And afternoon mist
Brings lights on in shops

Above race-guides and rosaries,

A funeral passes.

The hearse is ahead,

But after there follows

A troop of streetwalkers
In wide flowered hats,

Leg-of-mutton sleeves,

And ankle-length dresses.

There is an air of great friendliness,

As if they were honouring

One they were fond of;

Some caper a few steps,

Skirts held skilfully

(Someone claps time),

And of great sadness also.

As they wend away

A voice is heard singing

Of Kitty, or Katy,

As if the name meant once

All love, all beauty.
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