My turn to contribute to the theme:
(Poem #544) Toads
Why should I let the toad work Squat on my life? Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork And drive the brute off? Six days of the week it soils With its sickening poison - Just for paying a few bills! That's out of proportion. Lots of folk live on their wits: Lecturers, lispers, Losers, loblolly-men, louts- They don't end as paupers; Lots of folk live up lanes With fires in a bucket, Eat windfalls and tinned sardines- They seem to like it. Their nippers have got bare feet, Their unspeakable wives Are skinny as whippets - and yet No one actually _starves_. Ah, were I courageous enough To shout, Stuff your pension! But I know, all too well, that's the stuff That dreams are made on: For something sufficiently toad-like Squats in me, too; Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck, And cold as snow, And will never allow me to blarney My way of getting The fame and the girl and the money All at one sitting. I don't say, one bodies the other One's spiritual truth; But I do say it's hard to lose either, When you have both.
A typical Larkin poem: dry and to the point, it echoes the quiet desperation which infuses much of his work. The comparison between the two toads of the title  - the sickening poison of the toad 'work', and the lack of courage of his own baser self - is not overdone at all; instead, Larkin's matter-of-fact tone reinforces the sense he is trying to convey. thomas.  Alliteration watch! [Assessment] " ... Philip Larkin is the poet of the emotionally underprivileged. He speaks for the vast majority of people, for whom life is a series of successive disillusionments. His poetic personae are invariably unprepossessing - the man with bicycle clips on his trousers, sitting in an empty church; the outsider, looking in on the merrymaking of other people; the traveler who has (both literally and figuratively) missed the boat. Yet if we describe his subject as being 'the short end of the stick', all we can say is that he has a firm grasp of it; like Thomas Hardy (one of his early influences), he is an intelligent skeptic, rather than a shallow cynic or a bitter loser. Larkin's distaste for the spectacular extends itself to the _manner_ of his poetry; his verse exhibits the same precision and clarity as does that of Yeats. His relatively small poetic output reflects his sense of balance and his attention to detail... " -- Gary Geddes, 20th Century Poetry and Poetics (The above paragraphs are from memory, so they're not verbatim. The overall sense is correct, though - t.).