Philip Larkin was a British poet who I found because I was looking for a specific kind of poem. I’m editor of the literary magazine at my college and it is called Aubade. I wanted to find an aubade (a specific type of song sung about the parting of two lovers at dawn) but instead found the fantastic poem titled “Aubade” by Philip Larkin. You can read “Aubade” here, but it is not the poem I want to talk about today.
Today I want to talk about the poem No Road.
Since we agreed to let the road between us
Fall to disuse,
And bricked our gates up, planted trees to screen us,
And turned all time’s eroding agents loose,
Silence, and space, and strangers – our neglect
Has not had much effect.
Leaves drift unswept, perhaps; grass creeps unmown;
No other change.
So clear it stands, so little overgrown,
Walking that way tonight would not seem strange,
And still would be followed. A little longer,
And time would be the stronger,
Drafting a world where no such road will run
From you to me;
To watch that world come up like a cold sun,
Rewarding others, is my liberty.
Not to prevent it is my will’s fulfillment.
Willing it, my ailment.
I knew I was going to feature Philip Larkin today, but I thought I was going to feature “Aubade.” After reading “No Road” though I just couldn’t get it out of my head. The subtle rhyme is really impressive. I’ve never been a good rhymer. My creative writing professor always says “Poets are crazy people, we work so hard to put together this rhyme for you, but we don’t want you to notice!” I also liked the concept. Most of the interpretations of this poem are about lovers, but I think it’s applicable to all kinds of relationships that we let go of.
It’s hard to pick a favorite line, but some of my favorites:
“A little longer,/and time would be the stronger,/Drafting a world where no such road will run/from you to me”