Philip Larkin

Reasons For Attendance

The trumpet's voice, loud and authoritative, Draws me a moment to the lighted glass To watch the dancers - all under twenty-five - Solemnly on the beat of happiness. - Or so I fancy, sensing the smoke and sweat, The wonderful feel of girls. Why be out there ? But then, why be in there? Sex, yes, but what Is sex ? Surely to think the lion's share Of happiness is found by couples - sheer Inaccuracy, as far as I'm concerned. What calls me is that lifted, rough-tongued bell (Art, if you like) whose individual sound Insists I too am individual. It speaks; I hear; others may hear as well, But not for me, nor I for them; and so With happiness. Therefor I stay outside, Believing this, and they maul to and fro, Believing that; and both are satisfied, If no one has misjudged himself. Or lied.

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