Love Again

By Philip Larkin 1922–1985 Philip Larkin
Love again: wanking at ten past three   
(Surely he’s taken her home by now?),   
The bedroom hot as a bakery,
The drink gone dead, without showing how   
To meet tomorrow, and afterwards,
And the usual pain, like dysentery.

Someone else feeling her breasts and cunt,   
Someone else drowned in that lash-wide stare,   
And me supposed to be ignorant,
Or find it funny, or not to care,
Even ... but why put it into words?
Isolate rather this element

That spreads through other lives like a tree   
And sways them on in a sort of sense   
And say why it never worked for me.   
Something to do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,   
And arrogant eternity.

Philip Larkin, “Love Again” from Collected Poems. Used by permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Philip Larkin.

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)

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Poet Philip Larkin 1922–1985

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Relationships, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Philip  Larkin

Biography

Philip Larkin, an eminent writer in postwar England, was a national favorite poet who was commonly referred to as "England's other Poet Laureate" until his death in 1985. Indeed, when the position of laureate became vacant in 1984, many poets and critics favored Larkin's appointment, but the shy, provincial author preferred to avoid the limelight. An "artist of the first rank" in the words of Southern Review contributor John . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Relationships, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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