Philip Larkin: Sad Steps

Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness.

 

Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There’s something laughable about this,

 

The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

 

High and preposterous and separate—
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,

 

One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare

 

Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can’t come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.
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