Random Poem: ‘This Be The Verse’ by Philip Larkin

danny-the-champion-of-the-world
A good parent makes all the difference. In Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny the Champion of the World’, the close relationship between Danny and his father is an integral part of the story.

“Tell me about Danny,” (not his real name, obviously), the social worker said.

I smiled. “You know how we’re not supposed to have favourites?” I told her. “Well, he’s one of the favourites that I officially don’t have.”

Danny was a kid with a lot of challenges, but he was lucky: he had mum firmly on his side, determined to get him the help he needed. Not all kids are so fortunate, a subject which the social worker and I touched upon before she left. Modern British poet Philip Larkin captured this reality all too well in his funny, offensive (the f-word, so don’t click ‘Read More’ if that’s something that will offend you), and heart-wrenching poem ‘This Be The Verse.’

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
 .
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
matilda-and-her-awful-family
Another Roald Dahl character, Matilda, managed to turn out okay in spite of her awful family, thanks in part to the intervention of her teacher, the kindly Miss Honey.
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