Most people know more as they get older:
I give all that the cold shoulder.
I spent my second quarter-century
Losing what I had learnt at university
And refusing to take in what had happened since.
Now I know none of the names in the public prints.
And am starting to give offence by forgetting faces
And swearing I've never been in certain places.
It will be worth it, if in the end I manage
To blank out whatever it is that is doing the damage.
Then there will be nothing I know.
My mind will fold into itself, like fields, like snow.
The Winter Palace: Philip Larkin, 1978, from Collected Poems (1988)
Interior of the Winter Palace, Jordan Staircase: Konstantin Andreyevich Ukhtomsky, 1866 (image by Alex Bakharev, 2008)
Collapsed power masts near Ochtrup, Münsterland: photo by Der Sascha, 2005