Philip Larkin – “Church Going”

Larkin – Church Going.


Be you believer or not, this poem, Church Going, by Philip Larkin is worth much more than the time it takes to read thoughtfully.

What is church for?  And is church being now what it is meant to be?  Do I hear a hearty yes?  A decided no?

For myself, I love the penultimate verse, and the finish as well.

Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation - marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built
This special shell? For, though I've no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;

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