A shout out to old larkin


So The Slave and I were throwing ideas at each other while I was brain storming some title ideas for hob.

(His contribution of Jek Grinningtommy and the Mekekana Menace shall be burned with fire, I might add.)

Finally after much ridiculous banter, he asked me, “What’s it about, what does it mean to you?’

And naturally the first words that came to me head were, “They fuck you up, your mum and dad/ they might not mean to but they do.”

I’d never really sat and thought about what exactly I’d said with hob, or tried to say, because I never set out to do any of that. What I did was write a first line in the voice of this kid in my head, and it all went downhill from there.

So while I’d love for hob to be called This Be The Verse, I somehow think it won’t fly with the peeps in charge of all that.

But if anyone ever asks what I was thinking while I wrote the story, all I can say is that my subconscious must have been sing-songing its way through Larkin’s most famous poem, and infecting what was going on in my head. That or my teenage angst period is so indelibly inked into my brain that I’m good for nothing now. *g*

Are there poems or stories or plays that thread through what you write – sometimes so subtly that no one would notice it unless (and sometimes even if) you pointed it?

What are they?


4 Replies to “A shout out to old larkin”

  1. That must be what I get for ignoring literature after 1700 – never heard of the fellow. It’s a good theme, though. (And I wonder now if that’s where Talking Heads got a very similar line… seems unlike them to borrow like that.)

    Everything I can think of for my own work sounds either facetious or pretentious to me right now, but I’ll give it some thought. Death Cab for Cutie’s “Everything Ends” is a prominent part of my writing soundtrack, for what that’s worth.

    1. I kinda adore Larkin. Coming is one of my fave poems of all time. As a wangsty teenager I had it scrawled on my bedroomwall.

  2. This is hard. I am not so certain that there are particular songs or works that appear in my writing. I will have to think on this.

    I did talk with a friend last weekend about ideas that stick or lines from works that are memorable and what makes them memorable.

    I think things that put ideas succinctly, have weight, and possibly some controversy about them are things that stick and generate more.

    Not sure. Let me think on this.

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