Philip Larkin


In this dream that dogs me I am part Of a silent crowd walking under a wall, Leaving a football match, perhaps, or a pit, All moving the same way. After a while A second wall closes on our right, Pressing us tighter. We are now shut in Like pigs down a concrete passage. When I lift My head, I see the walls have killed the sun, And light is cold. Now a giant whitewashed D Comes on the second wall, but much too high For them to recognise: I await the E, Watch it approach and pass. By now We have ceased walking and travel Like water through sewers, steeply, despite The tread that goes on ringing like an anvil Under the striding A. I crook My arm to shield my face, for we must pass Beneath the huge, decapitated cross, White on the wall, the T, and I cannot halt The tread, the beat of it, it is my own heart, The walls of my room rise, it is still night, I have woken again before the word was spelt.

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