A poem for Valentine’s Day.

Annus Mirabilis

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(Which was rather late for me)–
Between the end of the Chatterly ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.

Up till then there’d only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for a ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.

Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.

So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me)–
Between the end of the Chatterly ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.

–Philip Larkin

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


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