Posted by: Tom Triumph | December 9, 2009

68. Homage to a Government: Phillip Larkin

How relevant is this now?!

The beauty is that I am unsure if the troops returning is a good thing, or selfish. And that is why the kids will get it, debate it, and have different bits of evidence to support their interpretations.

Homage to a Government
Phillip Larkin

Next year we are to bring all the soldiers home
For lack of money, and it is all right.
Places they guarded, or kept orderly,
Must guard themselves, and keep themselves orderly.
We want the money for ourselves at home
Instead of working. And this is all right.

It’s hard to say who wanted it to happen,
But now it’s been decided nobody minds.
The places are a long way off, not here,
Which is all right, and from what we hear
The soldiers there only made trouble happen.
Next year we shall be easier in our minds.

Next year we shall be living in a country
That brought its soldiers home for lack of money.
The statues will be standing in the same
Tree-muffled squares, and look nearly the same.
Our children will not know it’s a different country.
All we can hope to leave them now is money.

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