‘Like the train’s beat’, by Philip Larkin

30 March 2014

Like the train’s beat
Swift language flutters the lips
Of the Polish airgirl in the corner seat,
The swinging and narrowing sun
Lights her eyelashes, shapes
Her sharp vivacity of bone.
Hair, wild and controlled, runs back:
And gestures like these English oaks
Flash past the windows of her foreign talk.

The train runs on through wilderness
Of cities. Still the hammered miles
Diversify behind her face.
And all humanity of interest
Before her angled beauty falls,
As whorling notes are pressed
In a bird’s throat, issuing meaningless
Through written skies; a voice
Watering a stony place.

[Read in Collected Poems by Philip Larkin, ripped from http://www.oldpoetry.com/Philip_Larkin/8495629-Like_The_Trains_Beat]

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