Life is Boredom then Fear: ‘Dockery and Son’ by Philip Larkin

by Christian Parreno


And how we got it; looked back on, they rear

Like sand-clouds, thick and close, embodying

For Dockery a son, for me nothing,

Nothing with all a son’s harsh patronage.

Life is first boredom, then fear.

Whether or not we use it, it goes,

And leaves what something hidden from us chose,

And age, and then the only end of age.

Larkin, Philip Larkin (2001/1963) ‘Dockery and Son’ in Collected Poems. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux.