Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not quite what I was looking for

I wanted to root out another favourite piece of Philip Larkin for a 'Poetry Sunday' post today, but my Internet researches proved fruitless.

Well, not entirely fruitless. I did find this: Larkin's Joint, a rather charming-looking restaurant on the corner of Loleta Avenue and Colorado Boulevarde in Eagle Rock, California, offering "contemporary soul food".

Yes, food for the soul indeed, but not what I had in mind.

If I had any talent for parody, I would now dash off a very amusing short fantasia on the idea of Philip Larkin running a restaurant (of any kind - but a soul food restaurant?!); or indeed, on the idea of Philip Larkin enjoying a 'joint' of another sort. However, I have absolutely no such talent, so I'll leave this as a challenge for someone else to undertake.


Nick said...

I have a copy of Larkin so if you know the poem's title or roughly what it is about perhaps I could find it.

Obviously I also have too much free time.

Froog said...

The one I had in mind (for reasons which now escape me) was that one with the image of him throwing an apple core into a wastepaper basket, and missing. A time's arrow reversal moment - "the failure spreads back up the arm".

Quite well-known; quite short; well hidden on the Internet.

Nick said...

As Bad as a Mile

Watching the shied cored
Striking the basket, skidding across the floor,
Shows less and less of luck, and more and more

Of failure spreading back up the arm
Earlier and earlier, the unraised hand calm,
The apple unbitten in the palm.

Froog said...

Gosh, yes, that short! I probably could have remembered it whole if my memory were a little better directed, but I kept thinking it was the climax of a slightly longer piece, maybe four or five verses.

Thank you very much, Nick.

I think I may have a Larkin anthology with me too; but it's buried in one of the six packing crates of books I haven't got around to unpacking yet, and probably never will for want of bookshelves.

Nick said...

No problem, I enjoy reading your blog, though irregularly, so glad to help. Also, I've now spent much of the day thinking about the poem. Time well spent.