Philip Larkin, Unwittendheid

 
Unwittendheid

’t Is frjemd gjin weet te hawwen en noait wis
Fan wat der wier is, echt, oprjocht,
Disclaimers jaan te moatten: Tsja, my tocht,
It skynt dat it sa sit,
Mar faaks is ’t oars, wa wit.

Frjemd net te fetsjen hoe’t de dingen gean:
Sy snappe hoe’t men jin bedript
En hawwe foarmgefoel, fersiedzje stipt
En passe harren oan;
Ja, ’t is lang net gewoan

Dat klaaid sels mei sok witten – want ús fleis
Wynt syn beslissings om ús hinne –
Us libbens dochs sa ûnsekuer ferrinne
En is ’t oan stjerren ta
Wy stûkje: Hoe no sa?

 

Ignorance

Strange to know nothing, never to be sure
Of what is true or right or real,
But forced to qualify or so I feel,
Or Well, it does seem so:
Someone must know.

Strange to be ignorant of the way things work:
Their skill at finding what they need,
Their sense of shape, and punctual spread of seed,
And willingness to change;
Yes, it is strange,

Even to wear such knowledge – for our flesh
Surrounds us with its own decisions –
And yet spend all our life on imprecisions,
That when we start to die
Have no idea why.

 

Ut The Whitsun Weddings, 1964

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