This Be The Verse By Philip Larkin They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another's throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don't have any kids yourself.
It’s a deliciously awful little poem– even more so when you find it, as I did, among a collection of Mother’s Day poems.
But it’s not entirely accurate. It’s important to remember that man also passes on joys and delights to man, and that you get to decide for yourself which joys and miseries to keep, and which ones to discard.