Larkin, “Forget What Did”

Stopping the diary

Was a stun to memory,

Was a blank starting,


One no longer cicatrized

By such words, such actions

As bleakened waking.


I wanted them over,

Hurried to burial

And looked back on


Like the wars and winters

Missing behind the windows

Of an opaque childhood.

And the empty pages?

Should they ever be filled

Let it be with observed


Celestial recurrences,

The day the flowers come,

And when the birds go.


Source: The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. Vol. 2. Eds., Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann, and Robert O’Clair. 3rd Edition. NY: Norton, 2003.

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