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Thursday, 4 October 2007

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day, so I couldn't resist having a small splurge. Below is one of my favourites. 'Nothing to be said' by Philip Larkin. With apologies for any morbidity.

I like this because in politics everyone always has so MUCH to say. All the time. And everybody charges around saying that they are more right than everyone else. But there are some things that really do leave nothing to be said, and this poem (and often poetry in general) gives a voice to this.

And perhaps the reason we all (politicians and non-politicians included) rush around so much, saying so much, so quickly and so loudly, pushing out newspapers and blogs like this one, is to make sure there is no empty space to think too hard about That which leaves Nothing To Be Said.

So thanks to poets like Larkin for some space to think in a frenetic world.

Nothing to be said
(Philip Larkin)

For nations vague as weed,
For nomads among stones,
Small-statured cross-faced tribes
And cobble-close families
In mill-towns on dark mornings
Life is slow dying.

So are their separate ways
Of building, benediction,
Measuring love and money
Ways of slowly dying.
The day spent hunting pig
Or holding a garden-party,

Hours giving evidence
Or birth, advance
On death equally slowly.
And saying so to some
Means nothing; others it leaves
Nothing to be said.

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