Tributary Tuesday

For today, I’d like to dedicate some attention to a poem called “Days” by Philip Larkin. The poem is well-known and has been evaluated time and time again by professionals and casual-adorers of poetry. This is where poetry becomes fun and flexible as you can take what you like from it and develop your own meaning and appreciation for the piece. Let’s give “Days” a read:

“What are days for?

Days are where we live.

They come, they wake us

Time and time over.

They are to be happy in:

Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question

Brings the priest and the doctor

In their long coats

Running over the fields.”

By Philip Larkin

For me, this poem is just such a perfect blend of wit and detachment, it makes me think of the existential questions that cannot be definitively answered and at the same time at the end it provides an amusing image -two people frantically running over a hillside with concern written on their exasperated faces. I love that this poem begins with such a casual observation, then poses an enormous question, and ends by lending a thoughtful laugh. The way I see it is as a tribute to time and the humor of reality, at the same time the impracticable nature of it all. Life is difficult to understand, some people spend their whole lives trying to figure it out and sometimes there is really nothing to do but laugh at the ridiculousness of it. It’s amazing that even though it has taken me four very long-winded sentences to explain my interpretation of it, Larkin was able to summarize such a huge concept in 10 short lines… and that is just one part of the glory of poetry.

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