Tag Archives: poetry

In Ñspel: The Guardian view on Philip Larkin at 100: a lasting gift

‘Philip Larkin’s power arises from the clarity with which his poetry speaks to human constants.’ Photograph: Jane Bown/The Observer
‘Filip Larcin’z pǎr arîzz fṛm ɖ claṛti wɖ ẃć hiz powtri spīcs t hymn constnts.’ Foṭgraf: Jen Bǎn/Ɖ Obzrvr

Ɖ Gardịn vy on Filip Larcin at 100: a lastñ gift

(Transcription of an editorial published in the Guardian on 25 September 2022)

Ẃtvr w me fīl abt ɖ man, sm ʈñz r itrnl, n in hiz wrc h faund ɖ wrdz fr ɖm

Súnde 25 Sptmbr 2022

Ẃn, 50 yirz ago, ɖ Dpartmnt v ɖ Invîrnmnt cmiśnd a powm fṛm Filip Larcin, h pṛdyst, az a rīdr rīsntli pôntd ǎt t ɖ Gardịn, Gwñ, Gwñ, abt fld triz, blīc hî-rîzz, spredñ śopñsntrz n parcñlots. It z abt ɖ iroźn, tù, v hiz prīvịs trust ɖt “rʈ wl olwz rspond / Hvr w mes it abt”. F h hd livd untl ɖs yir, ẃn h wd hv trnd 100, h wd, wn sspcts, hv bn dis’pôntd bt nt at ol s’prîzd ɖt w r stl ćucñ filʈ in ɖ sī. Ɖ powm endz ɖ we mni Larcin powmz d, wɖ a dsptivli convseśnl pṛfundti: “Most ʈñz r nvr mnt.” Ẃć dz’nt ćenj ɖ damij dn.

Dspt a dificlt pirịd in ɖ 1990z – aftr pubḷceśn v Andru Mośn’z bîogṛfi n an idiśn v hiz letrz ɖt rvild hiz resizm n msojni, nt t mnśn inḟdeḷti, porn ys n jenṛl pyriḷti – Larcin hz nvr gn awe, n ɖ powtri z ẃ. Īvn ɖ most unpoetic rec̣gnîz ɖ dmotic bluntnis v “Ɖe fuc y p, yr mum n dad.” Or, “Sx́l inṭcors bgan / In nîntīn sixti-ʈri / (Ẃć wz rɖr lêt fr m) – / Btwn ɖ end v ɖ ‘Chatterley’ ban / N ɖ Bìtlz’ frst LP.” In rīsnt wīcs Cir Starmr in parḷmnt n ʈǎzndz on Twitr hv qotd hiz lînz on Iliẓbʈ II, ritn fr hr silvrjūḅli in 1977: “In tîmz ẃn nʈñ std / bt wrsnd, or grù strenj, / ɖr wz wn constnt gd: / ś dd nt ćenj.”

Bt mor ofn, n importntli, hiz pǎr arîzz fṛm ɖ claṛti wɖ ẃć hiz powtri spīcs t hymn constnts – ẃt Larcin dscrîbd, in a vri rli powm, az “itrnl rqîrñz”. Born in ɖ yir ɖt Jemz Jôs’z Yḷsīz, TS Elịt’s Ɖ West Land, n Vjińa Wŭlf’s Jecb’z Rūm wr publiśt, h cem t b priokpaid wɖ a rɖr difṛnt cnd v mdrṇti: sbrbn, ofn byṛcratic, unśǒi, cnsyṃrist; a nstaljic Ñgliśnis ɖt z bīdi-aid abt its ǒn nstalja. Tecñ ofn unproṃsñ preṃsz (trenplatformz, rentd rūmz, ambyḷnsz) h faund wrdz fr incoet fīlñz ɖt, wns yzd, sīmd inevitbl n rît: ẃt ćrćz cn stl d, fr instns, in a seklr ej (“A sirịs hǎs on sirịs rʈ it z…”); ɖ bʈetic tnśn, ovr n ovr agn, btwn hop n riaḷti; ɖ pen v promis ćenjd or unflfild – nwn hu hz réd Afṭnunz, abt yuñ peṛnts pśñ ćildṛn on swñz, wl fget hǎ it endz: “Ɖer byti hz ʈicnd. / Smʈñ z pśñ ɖm / T ɖ sîd v ɖer ǒn lîvz.”

Feṃsli deʈ-obsest (“Ɖ śr xtñśn ɖt w travl t”), h wz arğbli betr, az wn critic sd rīsntli, at sadnis, dis’pôntmnt, a fesñ p t dificlti az an un’vôḍbl part v ɖ hymn cndiśn, rɖr ɖn, az z so ofn asymd ɖz dez, az medic̣bl pʈoḷji. H cd d a cnd v qtidịn trnsndns, tù – ɖ “sún-comprihndñ glas” in ɖ powm Hî Windoz, fr xampl, or ɖ qayt end v T ɖ Sī; or, most ifctivli, bʈ at wns. “Ɖ triz r cmñ intu līf / Lîc smʈñ olmst biyñ sd”, h rout in a 1967 powm ɖt – in its rfyzl v clīśe, unḍstandñ v sîcl n imbres v paṛdox – cn olso b réd az a fer demnstreśn v hǎ eni powm ɖt z gwñ t last śd wrc: “Ɖer grīņis z a cnd v grīf. / … / Last yir z ded, ɖe sīm t se, / Bgin afreś, afreś, afreś.”

Instroduction to Ñspel