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Larkin – inspired by times lost

Philip Larkin, died 25 years ago, Librarian at Kingston upon Hull University, probably the greatestEnglish poet of 20th Century

Did Larkin ever walk down Hessle Road
Top up in Rayners on cattle market day
After hours in Whittington and Cat
And for a laugh in the Earl de Grey
Did he ever see the parrot
Buy the girls a glass or two or three
Convince them he wasn't buying as
Hands rose north of his knee
To try and make a bargain
In that oldest of games
Tell them not for me babe
But thanks all the same
Maybe next time
But not today I think
So sup while you're resting
And I'll buy  another drink

Did he ever leave his hallowed halls
For this part of the town
Before they buggered up so many lives'
By knocking all the housing down
Community all gone
Because they couldn't wait
To grub for the fast buck
By throwing up Industrial Estates
And heaving folk to Bransholme
With all those signs you used to pass
Telling all the kids by order
No ball games on the Grass
Did Larkin ever really know this place
Stagger through streets despairing at it all
Or did he stay on Cottingham Road
Not straying far from his Academic Halls

Whittington and Cat Pub next to the cattle market, open all day fron 6am on market days's
Rayner's - well known watering  hole
Earl de Grey - famous for the ladies and Parrot, said to be buried in the foundations of the new road outside the pub
Hessle Road - home of the fishing community before it was modernised and fishing sold out after the last Cod War dispute with  Iceland
Bransholme - once the largest council housing estate in Europe - now partially demolished but still large, sprawling, and intimidating and inhuman in scale


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Larkin – inspired by times lost