Philip Larkin - Wants

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Philip Larkin reads his poem Wants

Wants
by Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation cards,
However we follow the printed directions of sex,
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff —
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.

Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death —
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.

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