Monday, 30 January 2012

Poetry corner

Spotted in this weekend's Guardian Review:

They fuck you up the government
You may not know it but they see
That you're a mug and so you'll spend
Nine grand on what they got for free.

(Jay Bernard, '11.16').

Amongst those who got free education were David Cameron (inherited multimillionaire) and George Osborne (inherited £3m from a tax-avoiding family trust fund while he was at university) - these are the people who think you've had it too easy for too long.

Bernard's poem is a parody of Larkin's famous 'This Be The Verse', one of my very favourite poems, especially the final stanza. He was a university librarian with a somewhat dyspeptic approach to students. I suspect he'd have loved fees. But he knew about families. His father had to be asked to remove the Nazi decorations from his office in Coventry Town Hall, several months into WW2.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.   
    They may not mean to, but they do.   
They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,   
Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

No comments: