Home Is So Sad

Last week’s poem explored the theme of a house as a living being. This poem by Philip Larkin shows a similar image. When people leave, it’s not just the loved ones who are left behind that miss them. Their home misses them too. Without them, it will never be quite the same. But we can still cherish it. As a memory of who they were.

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

Philip Larkin


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