I’ve had a love affair with Philip Larkin ever since I first read “This Be the Verse” aged around 14 and rebellious in my purple steel toe capped Doc Martens. His words twisted around in my head, wrapping themselves secure so that even now, I can still recall whole verses.
The second I saw this dinosaur burial ground the lines from “An Arundel Tomb” rose unbidden to the surface, “what will survive of us is love”.
Time has transfigures them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
Perhaps they hated each other and just happened to die on very fertile ground, maybe some prankster Goblin thought “let’s pop a rose in the hand of this skeleton” or possibly, just possibly, there is some real truth in that last line. Somehow, given that it’s Valentine’s Day on Thursday this seemed appropriate, if not a little maudlin.