Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Extracts: Philip Larkin. (Because Hull is officially cultured)

Friday Night At The Royal Station Hotel
by Philip Larkin

Light spreads darkly downwards from the high
Clusters of lights over empty chairs
That face each other, coloured differently.
Through open doors, the dining-room declares
A larger loneliness of knives and glass
And silence laid like carpet. A porter reads
An unsold evening paper. Hours pass,
And all the salesmen have gone back to Leeds,
Leaving full ashtrays in the Conference Room.

In shoeless corridors, the lights burn. How
Isolated, like a fort, it is -
The headed paper, made for writing home
(If home existed) letters of exile: Now
Night comes on. Waves fold behind villages.
Don't you just love "the dining-room declares
A larger loneliness of knives and glass"
Hull yesterday won the title of UK City of Culture 2017.


Anonymous said...

You truly painted an exquisite picture with these words. I could see it all in my mind's eye.

Hello, I just read a comment of yours on Jumbled Crafts about feeding the deer biscuits from Woolworths (oh, I remember Woolworths, too). I laughed out loud with your last statement about what would happen today if we fed junk food to deer. I know - right? Ah, you still have the childhood memory though, and a good sense of humor.

Checked out your artwork and poems...very nice.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne .. I've just scanned part of Larkin's Wiki page - knowing nothing about the man - except he's a poet ..

Those words describe the dining room and desultory loneliness of the empty room ...

Hull - full of life in 2017 ... I sure hope it brings some life to the City .. cheers Hilary

snafu said...

Those old business traveller's hotels have long gone. I wonder what Larkin would have made of the the Holiday Inns and Premier Inns of today. The dining rooms in those places are never silent, because the 58 inch TV is on the sports channel all the time, if the TV is off, there is bland music too soft hear properly but loud enough to be annoying.

MorningAJ said...

@snafu We actually stayed in the Royal last time we were up there. It's exactly as he describes it - even today!
(We went out for Chinese......)