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Roger Bennett reads Philip Larkin's poem, "This Be The Verse".

Roger Bennett:

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This is Roger Bennett about to read a great poem of Philip Larkin, the English poet.  I grew up in England in the 1980s and my English teacher used to make us memorize dozens of first World War poems, which he would make us 8, 9, 10 year old boys recite in front of him in school whilst he wept quietly behind his own desk.  It was a very dark experience, quite traumatic and I never truly understood why he was doing it until he taught us Philip Larkin and this poem, "This Be The Verse", which explains just about everything.

This Be The Verse 
by Philip Larkin

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.