Statuesque Larkinesque By David Thompson
The Interchange has had its share,
Of criticism foul and fair,
But would the critics look askance,
If the concourse to enhance,
A little culture for to try,
On the people passing by,
A man who made his home in Hull,
Who never thought the place so dull,
As ordinary so to write,
And cast in a poetic light,
Of “Ambulances”, “Ships up streets”,
“Sky, Lincolnshire and water meet”
“Whitsun Weddings” and the like,
Observations from his bike,
Of a northern fishing port
As such maligned, a last resort,
A signal honour to bestow,
From Hull the very least to show,
A statue of this man of books,
Of horn rimmed specs and Morecambe looks,
That there can be inspiration,
At this final destination.
This poem, written in 2008 by David Thompson, was prompted by the statue of Sir John Betjeman on the concourse of the new St Pancras Station. It suggests a statue of local poet Philip Larkin be erected at Hull. And this actually happened two years later in 2010!
The poem has been printed in the Hull Daily Mail, and after the statue of Larkin was erected in Paragon Station, Hull, it was published by the Philip Larkin Society in the booklet to accompany the statue.
You can hear David Thompson reading Statuesque Larkinesque on the BBC website in a recording made in 2010.