Philip Larkin

The Importance Of Elsewhere

Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home, Strangeness made sense. The salt rebuff of speech, Insisting so on difference, made me welcome: Once that was recognised, we were in touch Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint Archaic smell of dockland, like a stable, The herring-hawker's cry, dwindling, went To prove me separate, not unworkable. Living in England has no such excuse: These are my customs and establishments It would be much more serious to refuse. Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence.

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