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Footnote to Larkin


“We should also be kind while we may.”

(They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.)


And it’s not just your mum and dad;

school and lovers fuck you up.

That is the deal, and Gray might add:

none drinks from Life’s unpoisoned cup.


But if we hand the misery on

from self to others every day,

there’s this to say (Larkin again):

we should also be kind while we may.


Harry Ricketts is a poet, biographer, editor, and essayist. Born and brought up in England, he lives in Wellington, Aotearoa, New Zealand, where he taught for many years in the English program at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. 

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