Nomination: Love Songs in Age [1 January 1957. From The Whitsun Weddings]
I love this poem because its opening line reminds me so much of the trauma related to assisting the elderly into moving into nursing homes where the space is limited and the residents are urged to give away their large items and trim living down to a few must have items. I see the woman in this poem having kept her songs…they took such little space. In her reopening them she is swept into the emotional flood of highs and lows, not unlike the songs themselves with stops and such. Larkin’s economy with the words, a staccato with the word choices like the love in the songs, all stopping and starting and stopping.