That was Philip's Room

Will Hatchett

For you, it was always the lonely interior
At nine o’clock the curtains would be drawn
On the starched damask and flock wallpaper
Note the imprisoned begonias, the neat lawn
A study in brown, some Highland scene –
Antlers and crepuscular melancholy
Everything here is cream or mushroom brown
Nature is subdued by suburban irony
Such houses have been lost to history
Old sheet music curls on the piano stand
If only the wild notes of some New Orleans band
Could impose upon this Victorian gentility
Through an open doorway I can picture you:
The tea-rings, the ash-burned coverlet
The stacked discs, your well-thumbed library
That was Philip’s room. I can imagine
Your history – faded and nicotine yellow
The faded porn, Palgrave’s Golden Treasury

The poet Philip Larkin lived in an attic room in number 32 Pearson Park for 18 years.

His great poem, High Windows, was inspired by the view from 32 Pearson park.

Main Location:

32 Pearson Park, Kingston-Upon-Hull, HU5 2TD, Yorkshire, England

Numbers 31 and 32 Pearson Park in Hull. Philip Larkin lived for 18 years in number 32 - the house on the right.

Image by Paul Harrop, licensed under Creative Commons.