Nomination: Reference Back [21 August 1955. From The Whitsun Weddings]
I love the way Larkin likens music to time, how he ‘bridges’ the gap so to speak not just with music and time but with his mother (I presume) and himself and then again with the reader. The sense of loss and emptiness so familiar to Larkin fans is never stronger. It speaks to the heart of everyone’s memories and stirs within the ultimate truth that time never slows and things around us stay the same even as we age. I always think with this poem Larkin is implying that we often think our lives would be remarkedly different/better had we acted differently but we are still the same person and the outcome would always have been the same. It reminds me to savour each second of life and not cling onto regrets.