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More poems by Philip LarkinPhilip Larkin | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Philip LarkinBooks by Philip Larkin

For Sidney Bechet

Philip Larkin

That note you hold, narrowing and rising, shakes
Like New Orleans reflected on the water,
And in all ears appropriate falsehood wakes,

Building for some a legendary Quarter
Of balconies, flower-baskets and quadrilles,
Everyone making love and going shares--

Oh, play that thing! Mute glorious Storyvilles
Others may license, grouping around their chairs
Sporting-house girls like circus tigers (priced

Far above rubies) to pretend their fads,
While scholars manqués nod around unnoticed
Wrapped up in personnels like old plaids.

On me your voice falls as they say love should,
Like an enormous yes.  My Crescent City
Is where your speech alone is understood,

And greeted as the natural noise of good,
Scattering long-haired grief and scored pity.

Added: 24 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 27 Mar 2017 2:32 AM | Viewed: 25915 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4839/ | Viewed on 27 March 2017.
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