Larkin was a bitter and cynical man and his poems reflect a very post-war, British sensibility of austerity and change (in my American eyes). And while his poems reflect that cynicism, it is interesting to me that he was still able to produce this body of work--that nihilism and pessimism did not stop him from the need to write. Like Dorothy Parker, he flirted with suicide, wrote of it as a desirable thing, and yet staggered on creating.
This is probably his most famous poem.
This Be the Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, b…