26/08/2008

Poems & Politics: This Be The Verse - Larkin

Thanks to Jolly Roger for his parody of last weeks Poems and Politics, which can be found in the comments to that post and is worth a read.

This weeks Poems and Politics is inspired by a post by Glyn Davies the prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Montgomeryshire. Mr Davies wants his party, if it comes into government, to reintroduce a married couple's allowance for taxation purposes. The reason why he supports this allowance is to encourage good parenting because "We know that children with two parents, on average, perform much better"

Phillip Larkin offers an alternative view on parenthood:

Philip Larkin - 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.


UPDATE

Jolly Roger's retort to Larkin is worth taking out of the comments section and adding to the main post:

Jolly Roger - This Be The Verse

So we fucked you up. Mum and Me?
We never mean to, nor have we.
We help you avoid the faults we had,
And try and stop you being so bad.

We weren't fucked up at any turn.
Life's stern lessons, we were glad to learn.
An ear for a clip, a back leg slap.
None of this Political Correctness crap.

I daresay that now PC accusers,
Would brand our parents as child abusers.
Despite this, right was learned from wrong.
And we passed this on to our family throng.

And now at life's Autumnal phase,
I've given and received much fulsome praise,
For the politeness, courtesy and respect,
That my children display and rarely neglect.

Even the grandchildren are much the same way.
And try and do a good deed a day.
I just hope that as this life will evolve,
This attitude will help many problems to solve.

I abhor the use of the whip or the lash.
But firm chastisement, far short of a thrash,
Is part of the Carrot and Stick regime.
That trains them for life's arduous dream.

No misery handed down by we,
Despite the Philip Larkin plea.
Our Human purpose? Procreate.
It's the sole reason for your existence, mate.

(c) Jolly Roger Publications.

5 comments:

  1. So we fucked you up. Mum and Me?
    We never mean to, nor have we.
    We help you avoid the faults we had,
    And try and stop you being so bad.

    We weren't fucked up at any turn.
    Life's stern lessons, we were glad to learn.
    An ear for a clip, a back leg slap.
    None of this Political Correctness crap.

    I daresay that now PC accusers,
    Would brand our parents as child abusers.
    Despite this, right was learned from wrong.
    And we passed this on to our family throng.

    And now at life's Autumnal phase,
    I've given and received much fulsome praise,
    For the politeness, courtesy and respect,
    That my children display and rarely neglect.

    Even the grandchildren are much the same way.
    And try and do a good deed a day.
    I just hope that as this life will evolve,
    This attitude will help many problems to solve.

    I abhor the use of the whip or the lash.
    But firm chastisement, far short of a thrash,
    Is part of the Carrot and Stick regime.
    That trains them for life's arduous dream.

    No misery handed down by we,
    Despite the Philip Larkin plea.
    Our Human purpose? Procreate.
    It's the sole reason for your existence, mate.

    (c) Jolly Roger Publications.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Jolly Roger. The point of these "Poems and Politics" posts is to show that poetry and culture have a part to play in politics.

    By responding in verse you add value to that point, whether I or readers of this blog agree or disagree with your point.

    Making a parody of a famous poem is one thing, trying to debate in verse with somebody as famous as Larkin is a much more difficult task. You're taking on the big boys! And when you offer a retort to one of the big boys most popular poems you are treading on dangerous ground!

    However, I think that your have carried it off on this occasion. Well done.

    I notice that you put a copyright symbol on all of your poems. Does this mean that you wish to publish them at some time? If you do can I suggest that you change the last line of your first verse to "And try TO stop you being TOO bad" rather than "And try AND stop you being SO bad?

    And, by the way, if you publish your poems in the comments section of my blog I own the copyright - not you! But don't let that stop you ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. jolly roger......poet illaureate.27/08/2008, 05:13

    Aw, go on with you Alwyn, you miserable old fart.
    How can I copyright my poetic art.
    It's given to all freely, just for the fun.
    I can't see people paying for it, mun.
    Thanks for your efforts at reading the proof.
    But I must be a little too long in the toof.
    I probably need new glasses and my fingers are too fat.
    So you'll just have to lump it. You miserable old twat.

    I must add my thanks for your eloquent promo.
    It's much appreciated here by this old major-domo.
    I'll call in again if I am able,
    And place my offerings on your table,
    And maybe raise a smile or a grin,
    To lighten the mood of the shit that we're in.
    I find that verse is a useful reagent.
    If you think it's that good, I'll have to get myself an agent.

    (c) free from Jolly Roger Publications.
    If you really want to help, I'll accept all donations.
    But not to my pocket, a hole it'll burn.
    Just give few bob to Age Concern.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am loving the 'poems and politics' series so much.. long may it continue! Especially since I just nominated you as 'most improved' on this basis in the Welsh Blog Index awards :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Haha that is hilarious!!!

    ReplyDelete