Larkin, ‘The Life with a Hole in it’

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

My personal essay has led me to read a number of poems in an attempt to find one that fits the words. I came across Philip Larkin’s ‘The Life with a Hole in it’; its final stanza is rather wonderful. The image of the ‘unbeatable slow machine’ reminds me of my mum’s description of working life and the ‘real world’ – once you’re on the treadmill, you can’t get off:

Life is an immobile, locked,
Three-handed struggle between
Your wants, the world’s for you, and (worse)
The unbeatable slow machine
That brings what you’ll get. Blocked,
They strain round a hollow stasis
Of havings-to, fear, faces.
Days sift down it constantly. Years.
 

 

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