Triple Time

A poem by Philip Larkin

This empty street, this sky to blandness scoured,
This air, a little indistinct with autumn
Like a reflection, constitute the present --
A time traditionally soured,
A time unrecommended by event.

But equally they make up something else:
This is the furthest future childhood saw
Between long houses, under travelling skies,
Heard in contending bells --
An air lambent with adult enterprise,

And on another day will be the past,
A valley cropped by fat neglected chances
That we insensately forbore to fleece.
On this we blame our last
Threadbare perspectives, seasonal decrease.

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