Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff -
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the table of fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death -
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.
Philip Larkin, The Less Deceived, Faber & Faber, 1955.