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WTM?!? …. Dialectics (2)

Man of Roma:

Philip Larkin. The complete poems. Click for credits

MoR: “Hi Jenny, how are you? […] May I reblog your WTM post? It is consistent with my ‘sublimity & scurrility’ blog theme which, in the Roman culture of ALL time, are intertwined like two close trees whose trunks have grown upwards together as a single shaft, mutually distorting … but mutually exhilarating.”

Jenny: “Hey Roma! Great to hear from you. Of course you may repost as you please. Sledpress was spectacular in her commentary, I recall. […] Are you blogging again? […] You can’t imagine how much mileage [… I got from your blog …] with every Italian I meet.
“Chi dice donna, dice danno” gets a great reaction every time! :-)


[Click on the image for credits. Courtesy of Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times. MoR]


Other installments:

Love Never Did Run Smooth. Dialectics (1)

“As long as I live they too will live inside me and battle, positively and fruitfully, giving me strength.” Dialectics (3)

Originally posted on sweat and sprezzatura:

Last week, the New York Times reviewed Philip Larkin’s Complete Poems.

His poems would not be complete without the most famous one:

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.

In the Times, the reviewer paraphrases (and cleans up) the first line of the poem, according to NYT stylebook rules:

They mess 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…

View original 129 more words

About Man of Roma

I am a man from Rome, Italy. I’m 60 and a Roman since many generations. In my blog,, I’m writing down my meditations. The idea behind it all is that something 'ancient' is still alive in the true Romans of today, of which few are left.

12 responses »

  1. Looking at that discussion now from two years on (incredible), I say (wistfully): Wasn’t that a time?!!

    • Yes, it was, Christopher. We were a pretty amiable slice of the blogosphere, (you being sober and I not) allow me some venting.


      As for just this discussion (the bunch was a lot more peopled) – you, *Christopher*, *Jenny*, *Sledpress*, *Thomas Stazyk*, *Andreas Kluth*, *Richard*, Mr. Crotchety (no blog) plus someone from a region on top of North-East Italy who perhaps crossed a line (and goes on crossing it damn!)

      Yes, ok, aren’t we today still in the blogosphere? I mean, we just have to go back afresh, from our places to theirs, for de novo having fun, reasoning, bugging one another (with no big line crossing tho.)

      In other words, pourquoi tout ne peut pas recommencer, ami canadien? [should my brain leak too much u’ll have fun without me at any rate LOL.]

  2. Hi Christopher! Hi Roma! It’s just very nice to see your words, both of you…almost like hearing a familiar voice.

    Fondly, Jenny

  3. Pingback: “As long as I live they too will live inside me and battle, positively and fruitfully, giving me strength.” Dialectics (3) | Man of Roma

  4. Oh! That was the most fun I had on-line in ages. *Ave* Philip Larkin!

      • Thank you for that. I did not know that Auden, for whom I also have a large bump of reverence, had so repudiated the one poem of his that I cannot read aloud without breaking down.

        Cynical people like me and Auden and Larkin have very breakable hearts. That is why we are cynical. Pain makes you suspicious.

      • Jenny, Sled: adorable you are.


        “Cynical people like me and Auden and Larkin have very breakable hearts”.

        Very profound.


        This Ron Rosenbaum sounds interesting.
        “We must love one another or die.”
        “What will survive of us is love”.
        “Amor vincit omnia” …


        … Larkin and Auden successors to Eliot and Yeats: so many things to discuss but I’m into Kurt Vonnegut now – a back-to-the-womb thing as regards MoR’s Americanism as he lived it in the 70’s in Trastevere. It’ll be a hopefully long series.

        He, incidentally, will be pleased to have you ladies as guests (and the people of the other aisle too especially – in which case debate and fun would be even more debate and more fun.)

        As for the other series ‘chansons francesi, italiane, americane’ you two (and others) are kindly requested to suggest some ‘American Great songs’ on the line of those posted so far (French, Italian … America’s turn, now, ok?)


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