“I listen to money singing… It is intensely sad.”

  “Money”, by  Philip Larkin 

Quarterly, is it, money reproaches me:
‘Why do you let me lie here wastefully?
I am all you never had of goods and sex.
You could get them still by writing a few cheques.’

So I look at others, what they do with theirs:
They certainly don’t keep it upstairs.
By now they’ve a second house and car and wife:
Clearly money has something to do with life

—In fact, they’ve a lot in common, if you enquire:
You can’t put off being young until you retire,
And however you bank your screw, the money you save
Won’t in the end buy you more than a shave.

I listen to money singing. It’s like looking down
From long french windows at a provincial town,
The slums, the canal, the churches ornate and mad
In the evening sun. It is intensely sad.

The “shave” in the 3rd stanza is the final shave that an undertaker gives a corpse (O.K.)


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  1. English below:

    Srečko Kosovel, Slovenian poet.
    Kons. 5

    Gnoj je zlato
    in zlato je gnoj.
    Oboje = 0
    0 = ∞
    ∞ = 0
    A B <
    1, 2, 3.
    Kdor nima duše
    ne potrebuje zlata.
    Kdor ima dušo
    ne potrebuje gnoja.
    I, A.

    And translation:

    Dung is gold
    and gold is dung.
    Both = 0
    0 = ∞
    ∞ = 0
    1, 2, 3.
    Whoever has no soul
    doesn’t need gold.
    Whoever has a soul
    doesn’t need dung.


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