ANOTHER TOAD AT 105 NEWLAND PARK - HULL
When Philip Larkin had to move out of his Pearson Park flat when the building was sold it was to this similarily leafy residence in Newland Park that he came. However as he described his purchase of the house as "I have bought the ugliest one-roomed house in Hull" its clear that a lot of work has been done since then. Philip Larkin lived here till his death in 1985. Two years before his death his long-term lover Monica Jones came to live with him and remained here till her own death in 2001. I guess that's another of the Larkin 25 toads on the roof of the verandah, the room beneath it was a garage in Larkin's time here and a blue plaque has been fixed to the building too so I should think this has been done after Monica died. I have to say it looks good and event the toad is tasteful with a natty collar and tie. Sad that his Pearson Park flat is so non-descript my comparison.
Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?
Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
That's out of proportion.
Lots of folk live on their wits:
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
They don't end as paupers;
Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
they seem to like it.
Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
No one actually starves.
Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
That dreams are made on:
For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,
And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.
I don't say, one bodies the other
One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
When you have both.
Philip Larkin 1922-1985