Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Philip Larkin / Sympathy in White Major

by Philip Larkin

When I drop four cubes of ice
Chimingly in a glass, and add
Three goes of gin, a lemon slice,
And let a ten-ounce tonic void
In foaming gulps until it smoothers
Everything else, up to the edge,
I lift the lot in private pledge:
He devoted his life to others.
While other people wore like clothes
The human beings in their days
I set myself to bring to those
Who thought I could the lost display;
It didn’t work for them or me,
But all concerned were nearer this
(Or so we thought) to all the fuss
Than if we’d missed it separately.
A decent chap, a real good sort,
Straight as a die, one of the best,
A brick, a trump, a proper sport,
Head and shoulders above the rest;
How many lives would have been duller
Had he not been here below?
Here’s to the whitest man I know-
Though white is not my favourite colour.
Philip Larkin
High Windows

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