Pushing Poetry for National Poetry Month


As a long-time poet and poetry promoter, I thought I'd use the excuse of April to nod at the odd appearance of buses and trains in verse. This excerpt of Philip Larkin's spectacular The Whitsun Weddings begins on board a train. Click on the title to go to read the entire poem at www.poetryfoundation.org.

The Whitsun Weddings


That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
   Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
The river’s level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

Photograph of Philip Larkin outside the Hull University library via weblink from the Melville House Press website.

Article and blog, copyright Gavin Barrett 2009

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