In a recent poll in The Times, Philip Larkin was voted the ‘best’ British writer since 1945. This surprised me because I had thought that writers like Larkin and Eliot were out of favour due to perceived fascist and misogynistic elements in their writing. Maybe the GBP has different ideas to the academic establishment. However, Larkin, who was a great favourite of mine when I was a lovelorn young chemistry student , was an old misery. For this week’s Writers Island prompt ‘Treasure’ I wanted to write a reply to the sentiment expressed by Larkin in his poem ‘Aubade’: ‘Life is first boredom, then fear/Whether or not we use it, it goes’. As usual, this is a work in progress as my progress is always slow.
At my beginning,
bands of rainbow.
First to trickle through
the hour glass of my life
the golden sand of childhood days.
Next comes the orange of adolescence
with its sudden eruptions,
forming little peaks and troughs.
A sudden rush of rampant red,
splatters on the sides of the glass,
the bilious green of forsaken love,
which settles above the scarlet.
Then comes a sprinkling of crystals; frozen
from the blue lagoon of my tears.
Only now in the indigo and violet years
when the flow is unstoppable
have I found the crock of gold – there
from my beginning.