They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
This poem has always appealed to me. It so starkly and truthfully states the problem of generational family dysfunction. Trouble is, it offers no hope for families in trouble or for humanity itself. The best we can do is quickly leave home and not reproduce. The poem I posted last night (a bit half baked, but I like the metaphor) is in some way a response to Larkin's hopelessness. What do you think?