I have long felt that Philip Larkin’s poem “This Be The Verse” was unjust, blaming his Mother and Father for his current state of unhappiness. As a parent myself, I have penned a little response.
They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad, so Philip Larkin said,
But can you go on blaming them if they are long since dead?
They may have dealt your hand of cards when you were young and new,
But how you play the game today is surely up to you.
The hand you hold you can discard, or keep and choose to play,
or head held high stand up right now and simply walk away.
For history does not repeat unless we want it to,
for all your thoughts are in your grasp and all your actions too.
So if you’re at each others throats, or feeling soppy stern
Remember you can change all that. Don’t blame your Dad or Mum.