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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

Maiden Name

Philip Larkin

Marrying left yor maiden name disused. 
Its five light sounds no longer mean your face, 
Your voice, and all your variants of grace; 
For since you were so thankfully confused 
By law with someone else, you cannot be 
Semantically the same as that young beauty: 
It was of her that these two words were used. 

Now it's a phrase applicable to no one, 
Lying just where you left it, scattered through 
Old lists, old programmes, a school prize or two, 
Packets of letters tied with tartan ribbon - 
Then is it secentless, weightless, strengthless wholly 
Untruthful?  Try whispering it slowly. 
No, it means you.  Or, since your past and gone, 

It means what we feel now about you then: 
How beautiful you were, and near, and young, 
So vivid, you might still be there among 
Those first few days, unfingermarked again. 
So your old name shelters our faithfulness, 
Instead of losing shape and meaning less 
With your depreciating luggage laiden. 

Added: 24 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 22 Jan 2018 5:25 PM | Viewed: 8868 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4853/ | Viewed on 22 January 2018.
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