Dream Encounter

Last night in my dream
I saw Philip Larkin.
He was talking to the teller
at the bank—heads bent
both whispering of money.
I asked him how he went about
the business of writing a poem.
“I always use a songbook',
he explained, “the words are almost
poetry already. It makes it so much
easier that way to write in verse”.
Two sparrows by his bed
began to peck at crumbs
from the fragments of two cakes
on a plate, on his bedside table.
When they made as if to eat
the untouched chocolate cake,
I shooed them both away—
their flight was slow. I told him
Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate,
had asked me to attend his reading
of a Larkin poem. He made a moue
but did not say I should not go.
Beside the bed and next
to the untouched chocolate cake
there was a very rotten apple.
Light as gossamer it was,
though when I picked it up to give to him,
he shrank away. His face
was slightly swollen. It seemed
to glisten. I thought he looked sickly
as he did the last time I saw him,
that time he smiled at me.

by Pete Crowther

Comments (3)

A terrific poem, peter. Larkin has always intrigued me and I have written a number of poems inspired by him. The poem is as wry as Larkin hmslef. And it taught me a new work, moue!
Hi Pete! I read this poem just now. You have told me about that dream, but you did not mention that you made a poem out of it...but it's wonderful...really..i like it.
What an extremely well-written poem. I like the combination of topics - the poem-writing and the birds & food. It all fits together very well.