Monday, 25 January 2010


This one was along the same lines as hiding letters in charity shop clothes. I wanted to hide it in books in the library for several reasons. Firstly, I typed it on a type writer on notecard paper because Larkin was a librarian and wrote a lot of poetry while at work. I like the idea of linking the poem to its background in some way. I also thought that it was ironic. You would expect a poem that challenges people to think about their own ignorance to be better placed somewhere other than a library, but I thought it would perhaps be even better in this setting because, despite obviously being intelligent enough to be in university, a lot of students are still ignorant to many things. I wanted it to be a way of encouraging people to think about themselves at an important stage in life, and while in the library to perhaps use it as an insentive to research somehting outside their area of expertise.

The original poem:

Philip Larkin - 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 die
Have no idea why.

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