Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

I Remember, I Remember -- Philip Larkin

(Poem #73) I Remember, I Remember
Coming up England by a different line
For once, early in the cold new year,
We stopped, and, watching men with number plates
Sprint down the platform to familiar gates,
'Why, Coventry!' I exclaimed. "I was born here.'

I leant far out, and squinnied for a sign
That this was still the town that had been 'mine'
So long, but found I wasn't even clear
Which side was which. From where those cycle-crates
Were standing, had we annually departed

For all those family hols? . . . A whistle went:
Things moved. I sat back, staring at my boots.
'Was that,' my friend smiled, 'where you "have your roots"?'
No, only where my childhood was unspent,
I wanted to retort, just where I started:

By now I've got the whole place clearly charted.
Our garden, first: where I did not invent
Blinding theologies of flowers and fruits,
And wasn't spoken to by an old hat.
And here we have that splendid family

I never ran to when I got depressed,
The boys all biceps and the girls all chest,
Their comic Ford, their farm where I could be
'Really myself'. I'll show you, come to that,
The bracken where I never trembling sat,

Determined to go through with it; where she
Lay back, and 'all became a burning mist'.
And, in those offices, my doggerel
Was not set up in blunt ten-point, nor read
By a distinguished cousin of the mayor,

Who didn't call and tell my father There
Before us, had we the gift to see ahead -
'You look as though you wished the place in Hell,'
My friend said, 'judging from your face.' 'Oh well,
I suppose it's not the place's fault,' I said.

'Nothing, like something, happens anywhere.'
-- Philip Larkin
The title of today's poem is, of course, a take on Thomas Hood's famous
'I Remember, I Remember', one of those poems which *everyone* seeems to
have studied in school or read at some point in their lives. Larkin
brings a whole new perspective to childhood and growing up; like Auden
in 'Musee des Beaux Arts' (Minstrels, Poem #68), he is concerned with
the meaningfulness of 'events' in our lives, as opposed to the unadorned
fact of 'living'.

The whole poem hinges on the effectiveness of the last line, a line
whose 'truth' comes as a revelation. And (in my mind, at least) the
purpose of poetry is to create such revelations, to open up new ways of
looking at the world, to make the reader feel
                    " - like some watcher of the skies
                When a new planet swims into his ken;"
Larkin's poem performs this task admirably.

As an aside, note the exquisite skill with which Larkin translates the
rhythms of conversational English into metrical (and rhymed) verse - it
seems effortless because it's done so very well.



Philip Larkin was born in 1922 in Coventry, England. He attended St.
John's College, Oxford. His first book of poetry, 'The North Ship', was
published in 1945 and, though not particularly strong on its own, is
notable insofar as certain passages foreshadow the unique sensibility
and maturity that characterizes his later work. In 1946, Larkin
discovered the poetry of Thomas Hardy and became a great admirer of his
poetry, learning from Hardy how to make the commonplace and often dreary
details of his life the basis for extremely tough, unsparing, and
memorable poems. With his second volume of poetry, 'The Less Deceived'
(1955), Larkin became the preeminent poet of his generation, and a
leading voice of what came to be called `The Movement,' a group of young
English writers who rejected the prevailing fashion for neo-Romantic
writing in the style of Yeats and Dylan Thomas. Like Hardy, Larkin
focused on intense personal emotion but strictly avoided sentimentality
or self-pity.

In 1964, he confirmed his reputation as a major poet with the
publication of 'The Whitsun Weddings', and again in 1974 with 'High
Windows': collections whose searing, often mocking, wit does not conceal
the poet's dark vision and underlying obsession with universal themes of
mortality, love, and human solitude. Deeply anti-social and a great
lover (and published critic) of American jazz, Larkin never married and
conducted an uneventful life as a librarian in the provincial city of
Hull, where he died in 1985.

    -- from the Academy of American Poets website,
[broken link]

You can read the original 'I Remember, I Remember' by Thomas Hood at
[broken link]

93 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Frank Wintle said...

You'll get immeasurably more out of this if (as well as with Hood) you frame
it with Thomas Hardy's poems of 1912-13: rhythm, vernacular, but above all,
topic - nostalgia, the revisit, the mourning - contrasting Hardy's loss with
Larkin's loneli-/emptiness. Sequence starts with "The Going", for a flavour
of which:
[broken link]

Frank Wintle
57 Jamestown Road

Anonymous said...

Is this not also reminiscent of Adlestrop by E Thoams?

Anonymous said...

If anyone has information on the rhyme scheme of this poem, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

What is the message of this poem?

Penis Enlargement Pills said...

I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely. I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too. I would love to track your future posts pertaining to the said topic we are able to read.

Penis Enlargement Pills said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I think I will leave my first comment.
I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.
I will keep visiting this blog very often.
By the way,
Blogger how when you visit my blog,
My Blog have been created for the satisfaction of consumer of all.

Penis Enlargement said...

penis enlargement,penis pills,penis enlargement pills,top penis enlargement pills,best penis pills, buy penis pills, penis enlargement reviews,vigrx plus,vimax pills,male extra

Rosemarycxy878 said...

It has always intrigued me how this most land-lubberly of poets had such an obsession with his Ship of Death. Here, of course, but also the North Ship, Plymouth, I am washed upon a rock.

The best poets always show us something we wouldn't otherwise be able to see for ourself. Before I discovered just how inextricably
paralysed Larkin
was with his fear of death - I never fully realised just how comfortable I am with my own mortality.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a critical analysis/rhyme scheme and annotations for this poem? x thanks

Baby Clothes said...

This is one of the best and different creation, i love this poem, poetry is also my hobby. so it is great inspiration for me to create little bit of like this poem.

International Flights said...

The whole poem hinges on the effectiveness of the last line, i like to read every line each and every content has a great meaning.

DM 500 said...

The title of this poem, "I Remember, I Remember", is a reference to another poem of the same name by Thomas Hood, a poem which shows the reader an adult's wistful remembrance of his childhood

saim said...

Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for such information.

buy curcumin

Anonymous said...

One loving all the random comments from people who either haven't read the poem (work out the rhyme for yourself by reading it) or are advertising for the struggling male apparently.
Im a student of English and am studying this. I found it typical of Larkin's work overall in tone and technical form. The fast pace of the train mimcking the speed with which he views the memories of his childhood- flashback like. And unlike some others, I do not believe it to be wistful at all. The title, bittersweet in nature, is a parody of Hood's work and the disdain noted throughout surely presents this as anything but nostalgic.

Creation de societe a Hong Kong said...

I wanted to thanks for this great learn!! I positively enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you submit.

Lady Annabella said...

I totolly agree with "Anonymous": this poem is not nostalgic at all. On the contrary, it distorts Thomas Hood's nostalgia (as well as Edward Thomas's) and denies the notion of "homesickness". Nostalgia is about the regret of one place. Here the poet is "anywhere".

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

My homepage - domains for sale

Anonymous said...

Hi to every body, it's my first visit of this blog; this webpage consists of remarkable and truly good data designed for visitors.

my web blog: jobs in uk

Anonymous said...

Hi, all the time i used to check webpage posts here
in the early hours in the daylight, since i love to gain knowledge of more and

Also visit my web page: taobao agent

Anonymous said...

When someone writes an piece of writing he/she keeps the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a
user can know it. Therefore that's why this post is great. Thanks!

Also visit my page; buying perfume

djrakesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

djrakesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

djrakesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous said...

Wow, awesome blog format! How long have you been blogging for?

you made running a blog look easy. The whole glance of your site is magnificent, let alone the

Also visit my web-site chapter 13 bankruptcy florida

Anonymous said...

Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's new to me.

Nonetheless, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be book-marking
and checking back frequently!

Here is my site ... im netz version

Anonymous said...

I always spent my half an hour to read this blog's posts everyday along with a cup of coffee.

Visit my site -

Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

Feel free to surf to my web site: vakantiehuizen

Anonymous said...

It's an remarkable paragraph designed for all the internet viewers; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

Look into my homepage

Anonymous said...

I visited many blogs but the audio quality for audio songs present at
this web page is truly fabulous.

Here is my blog ... frances farmer quotes

Anonymous said...

I'm not certain the place you are getting your information, however great topic. I must spend some time finding out much more or figuring out more. Thanks for great information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

my web blog - luxe vakantiehuizen

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other
blogs? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my audience would enjoy your work. If
you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

Also visit my website - vakantiehuisje frankrijk

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Keep writing such kind of info on your site.
Im really impressed by your site.
Hi there, You have performed a great job. I will certainly digg it
and individually recommend to my friends. I'm sure they'll be benefited from this website.

Visit my web page vakantiehuis frankrijk

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

Also visit my page; luxe vakantie

Anonymous said...

I am genuinely grateful to the owner of this website who has shared this enormous post at at this place.

Feel free to visit my website huis huren frankrijk ()

finestglasses said...

Our photochromic glasses could guard your eyes from direct sunlight which could possibly damage your precious eye sight.

Paul Reed said...

The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Digital Electronic Products | Electronic Products Shopping | Keep going.

Priyanka said...

I was simply looking for this info for a long time

priyanka chopra said...

I was simply looking for this info for a long time.alherabd

sherry jiang said...

shop online for thousands of Taps, Kitchen Taps, Bathroom Taps, Sinks and Plumbing Fixtures at, sinks, bathroom, kitchen and shower fixtures. FREE SHIPPING on most items. Same day shipping on in stock items

Michael Twin said...

Nice Post, Thanks for your very useful information... I will bookmark for next reference

lina sexshop said...

Berikut kami akan membahas tentang bagai mana cara memperbesar penis dengan hasil cepat dan aman tanpa operasi

jika anda ingin memperbesar penis dengan hasil cepat,aman tanpa operasi itu mudah anda bisa pilih cara memperbesar penis dengan salah satu obat pembesar penis herbal seperti Neosize xl | obat Vimax | Vigrx Plus original

jika anda riskan konsumsi obat pembesar penis anda bisa pilih jalan lain seperti metode trapi ( pemakaian luar ) kami juga punya solusinya anda harus punya alat pembesar penis sejenis vacum penis atau Vimax Extender dan Pro Extender

Berikut penjelasan kami :

Apa Neosize Xl itu : Neosize Xl

Apa Vimax Asli itu : Vimax Asli Canada

Apa Vigrx Plus itu : Vigrx Plus

Apa Vacum Penis Itu : Vacum Penis

Apa Vimax Extender itu : Vimax Extender Asli

Apa Pro Extender itu : Pro Extender

Sekarang anda bisa tau rahasia cara memperbesar penis dengan aman tanpa operasi.selamat mencoba.

lina sexshop said...

kini kami akan bahas tentang kesehatan dan kecantikan perawatan tubuh maupun pengobatan secara alami :

Berikut : obat peninggi badan

Berikut : obat pembesar payudara

Berikut : cara merontokan bulu permanen

Berikut : obat pelangsing badan

Berikut : cara sehat alami

Berikut : cara mempercantik wajah dan tubuh

Berikut : obat penggemuk badan

Berikut : cara mengobati ejakulasi dini

Berikut : Obat penyubur seperma

Berikut : penis bendera

Berikut : Alat Pembesar Payudara

Berikut : Viagra

Berikut : perangsang wanita

Berikut : alat bantu sex pria

Berikut : alat bantu sex wanita

Berikut : boneka full body

Berikut : Cara memperbesar penis

Berikut : Oil pembesar penis

Berikut : Celana Hernia

Berikut : vimax original

Berikut : ciri vimax asli

Berikut : Obat Kuat Sex Pria


obat herbal said...

Vitamin telah diketahui tidak berguna untuk mencegah kanker, walaupun tingkat yang rendah dari vitamin D berhubungan dengan peningkatan resiko kanker. Apakah ini merupakan sebab akibat dan suplemen vitamin D bersifat melindungi tidak pernah dinyatakan. Suplemen Beta-Carotene telah diketahui meningkatkan kanker paru-paru pada mereka yang beresiko tinggi. Asam folat telah diketahui tidak berguna untuk mencegah kanker usus, bahkan justru menuingkatkan terjadinya polip pada usus besar. Tidak jelas apakah suplemen selenium mempunyai efek pengobatan/pencegahan. selain itu, seiring dengan perkembangan jaman, kini pengobatan penyakit ini sudah banyak di lakukan secara herbal, salah satunya dengan menggunakan produk ziirzax dan typhogell, dan untuk info lebih lengkap, silahkan baca spesifikasi produk obat kanker ziirzax dan typhogell.

vimax said...

terimakasih, semoga admin sukses selalu
Obat Pembesar Penis Vimax Asli

cecillia said...

Nice info. Thank you.
all face the problem. finish with a calm heart and brain are cold and are trying so hard ... Picture collection Modern Minimalist House Plan | Dimensions and Weights | tips on buying a vehicle | maximum engine power capacity

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Raden Rizqi said...




NO HP 082281195117
BBM 3312A00E

vimax asli said...

Thank you for sharing in this article , you may be useful and successful always .

minyak lintah asli papua said...

terimakasih telah berbagi dalam artiker,semoga bermanfaat bagi kita semua.

Post a Comment