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Talking in Bed by Philip Larkin

Words like this isn’t working, or let’s not get ahead of ourselves, or I wanted more than this.

Talking in Bed
Philip Larkin

Talking in bed ought to be easiest
Lying together there goes back so far
An emblem of two people being honest.

Yet more and more time passes silently.
Outside the wind’s incomplete unrest
builds and disperses clouds about the sky.

And dark towns heap up on the horizon.
None of this cares for us. Nothing shows why
At this unique distance from isolation

It becomes still more difficult to find
Words at once true and kind
Or not untrue and not unkind.

Comments (1)

  • Copycat

    Did you read Stephen Dobyn’s essay called The Function of Tone? He mentions this poem – specifically the first line and points out how the verb “ought to” influences the tone of the whole poem. It’s pretty interesting. 🙂


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