Beware that, when fighting monsters,
you yourself do not become a monster...
for when you gaze long into the abyss.
The abyss gazes also into you.


BY FRIEDRICH NIETZCHE

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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.







Philip Larkin, "This Be the Verse" from Collected Poems.

Source: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48419

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