why should i let the toad work squat on my life?

Why should I let the toad work
  Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
  And drive the brute off?

Six days of the week it soils 
  With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
  That's out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
  Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
  They don't end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
  With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
  they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
  Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
  No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough 
  To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
  That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
  Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
  And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
  My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
  All at one sitting.

I don't say, one bodies the other
  One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
  When you have both.

by philip larkin

5 responses to “why should i let the toad work squat on my life?

  1. this larkin gem a lot better than some of the dodgy poetry selects that pops up here

    no robert lowell please — ever

    • will often gladly add things requested but never remove them, take what pleases leave the rest for others, can’t imagine anyone out there does or should share all my interests

  2. sounds like the night they drove old dixie down

    as established, we thrive on disagreement and dischord and embrace the unembraceable

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