Philip Larkin (9 August 1922 – 2 December 1985) has been called England’s greatest post-war poet, as well as being voted “the nation’s best-loved poet” by the Poetry Book Society. Philip Larkin is considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. His poem “This Be the Verse” written in 1971 continues to be well-known and many people in Britain can recite at least the first stanza.
Listen to Philip Larkin reading his poem:
and here you have the poem:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another's throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don't have any kids yourself.
Soppy-stern= sentimental and austere
What message is he trying to get across? What is your reaction?