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What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.


“Days” by Philip Larkin, which you’ll find in his Complete Poems.

“Solving that question” is just a euphemistic way of saying… well, what activity involves a priest and doctor? There couldn’t be a more Larkinesque way of capping off a poem about finding contentment in life’s diurnality. The lone image in the poem, those long coats coming from over the fields, seems to me to suggest something like foreignness and opportunism.

I took the picture in northern Virginia.

More Larkin: