»  Kingsley Amis' "Lovely"

 

Lovely

by Kingsley Amis, 1922-1995

 

•  Background

A companion piece to "Shitty," this one extends the theme.

The "old shag" in lines 2 and 12 is Walter de la Mare.

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•  Play the reading

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•  Text of the poem

Look thy last on all things lovely
    Every hour, an old shag said,
Meaning they turn lovelier if thou
    Thinkst about soon being dead.

Do they? When that "soon" means business
    They might lose their eye-appeal,
Go a bit like things unlovely,
    Get upstaged by how you feel.

The best time to see things lovely
    Is in youth's primordial bliss,
Which is also when you rather
    Go for old shags talking piss.