Tuesday 14 April 2015

L is for Labé and Larkin

Today brings you a poem from Louise Labé, a French Renaissance poet, taken from 'The Virago Book of Love Poetry'. 

I live, I die, I burn, I drown

I live, I die, I burn, I drown
I endure at once chill and cold
Life is at once too soft and too hard
I have sore troubles mingled with joys

Suddenly I laugh and at the same time cry
And in pleasure many a grief endure
My happiness wanes and yet it lasts unchanged
All at once I dry up and grow green

Thus I suffer love's inconstancies
And when I think the pain is most intense
Without thinking, it is gone again

Then when I feel my joy is certain
And my hour of greatest delight arrived 
I find my pain beginning all over once again.

And from 'Staying Alive' (again), here is the wonderful and much loved Philip Larkin, because I thought it would be nice to include at least a couple that would be familiar.

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf,
Get out as early as you can,
    And don't have any kids yourself.

(Linking back to the A to Z Challenge)

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