Story

Tired of a landscape known too well when young:
The deliberate shallow hills, the boring birds
Flying past rocks; tired of remembering
The village children and their naughty words,
He abandoned his small holding and went South,
Recognised at once his wished-for lie
In the inhabitants' attractive mouth,
The church beside the marsh, the hot blue sky.

Settled. And in this mirage lived his dreams,
The friendly bully, saint, or lovely chum
According to his moods. Yet he at times
Would think about his village, and would wonder
If the children and the rocks were still the same.

But he forgot all this as he grew older.

by Philip Larkin

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