Full Title

Fiction and the Reading Public

Give me a thrill says the reader,
Give me a kick;
I don’t care how you succeed, or
What subject you pick.
Choose something you know all about (sic)
That’ll sound like real life;
Your childhood, your Dad pegging out,
How you sleep with your wife.
You’ll be ‘truly great’.
But that’s not sufficient, unless
You make me feel good–
Whatever you’re ‘trying to express’
Let it be understood
That ‘somehow’ God plaits up the threads,
Makes ‘all for the best’,
That we may lie quiet in our beds
And not be ‘depressed’.
For I call the tune in this racket:
I pay your screw,
Write reviews and the bull on the jacket–
So stop looking blue
And start serving up our sensations
Before it’s to late;
Just please me for two generations–
and you will be truly great 

Philip Larkin


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