Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Friday Night at the Royal Station Hotel

Light spreads darkly downwards from the high
Clusters of lights over empty chairs
That face each other, coloured differently.
Through open doors, the dining-room declares
A larger loneliness of knives and glass
And silence laid like carpet. A porter reads
An unsold evening paper. Hours pass,
And all the salesmen have gone back to Leeds,
Leaving full ashtrays in the Conference Room.

In shoeless corridors, the lights burn. How
Isolated, like a fort, it is -
The headed paper, made for writing home
(If home existed) letters of exile: Now
Night comes on. Waves fold behind villages.

Philip Larkin


  1. I like the imagery that this piece creates in my mind.

    I notice that you post a lot. And you post on a lot of topics. We need someone with your eclectism and prolific output to join us in our undertaking for April.

    I’d like to invite you and your readers to join us in a blogging challenge for the month of April. Check it out at Blogging From A to Z

    Let me know if you'd like to join the fray.

  2. "An all the salesmen have gone back to Leeds...shoeless corridors...Waves fold behind villages..." Brilliant stuff. The hotel is in Hull and that stern-looking lady in the picture is Monica Jones, Larkin's long-time squeeze, and the subject of Letters to Monica, due from Faber later this year.