Sneakily, I realised that I could catch up with my quotas if I read a poetry book, as they tend to be much shorter!
Of course, poetry cannot really be read quickly. The fewer the words in a poem, the more carefully each one seems to have been chosen, and the more attention they demand. However, I decided I could at least widen my knowledge by picking poets I had never read.
I had already read Larkin's This be the Verse, the famous poem where he says, "They f**k you up, your mum and dad" and an excellent poem it is too. However I had never really fancied reading any more of his work, for the shameful reason that he didn't fit my romantic conception of a poet with his unattractive looks and specs. Fortunately my book-a-day scheme is leading me into unfamiliar ways!
The poems I enjoyed most in this collection were about animals: Wires, At Grass, and particularly Myxomatosis. This last is only 9 lines wrong but it perfectly captures a moment in time and the rabbit's confusion. The last lines are particularly touching and if it reflects an actual incident, you can only be glad that Larkin was there to dispatch the poor animal.
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