Quotes by Philip Larkin

  • The adjective ‘modern’ when applied to any branch of art ,means ‘designed to invoke incomprehension, anger, boredom or laughter’.


  • Sexual intercourse began
    In nineteen sixty three
    (Which was rather late for me,)
    Between the end of the Chatterley ban
    And the Beatles first LP.


  • I wouldn’t mind seeing China if I could come back on the same day.


  • Sex is too good to share with someone else.


  • The notion of expressing sentiments in short lines having similar sounds at their ends, seems as remote as mangoes on the moon.


  • 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.


  • Twenty to forty is the fillet steak of life. After that it is all sort cuts.


  • A beginning, a muddle and an end.
    [on the classic novel formula]


  • Love isn’t stronger than death just because statues hold hands for 600 years.


  • I continue to listen gamely to Archie Shepp in the hope that it will one day cease to sound like the ‘Flight of the Bumble bee’ scored for bagpipes and a concrete mixer.


  • It is very much easier to imagine happiness than to experience it.

    Happiness, Joy

  • Death is no different whined at than withstood.


  • The quickest way to start a punch up between two British literary critics is to ask them what they think of the poems of Sir John Betjeman.


  • The realization that it was not people I disliked, but children, was for me one of those celebrated moments of revelation.