Philip Larkin, ‘High Windows’ (1974)

When I see a couple of kids
And guess he’s fucking her and she’s
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed all their lives–
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated carbine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
And thought, That’ll be the life;
No God anymore, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide
Like free bloody birds. And immediately

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

~ by ohkrapp on January 17, 2008.

One Response to “Philip Larkin, ‘High Windows’ (1974)”

  1. Thanks Krapp, this poem is like lubricant jelly in the hinges of a church door (and my soul gates). The result is a surprising, loud sound that never announced itself but reminds you that being trapped is the only compliment to freedom.

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