Funeral Poems, Readings, Music, Quotations & Thoughts

XVIII If Grief Could Burn Out

A short poem by Philip Larkin first published in The North Ship in 1945 with no title but the number XVIII

Philip Larkin

If grief could burn out
Like a sunken coal
The heart would rest quiet
The unrent soul
Be as still as a veil
But I have watched all night

The fire grow silent
The grey ash soft
And I stir the stubborn flint
The flames have left
And the bereft
Heart lies impotent

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