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Maiden Name

 Marrying left yor maiden name disused.
Its five light sounds no longer mean your face, Your voice, and all your variants of grace; For since you were so thankfully confused By law with someone else, you cannot be Semantically the same as that young beauty: It was of her that these two words were used.
Now it's a phrase applicable to no one, Lying just where you left it, scattered through Old lists, old programmes, a school prize or two, Packets of letters tied with tartan ribbon - Then is it secentless, weightless, strengthless wholly Untruthful? Try whispering it slowly.
No, it means you.
Or, since your past and gone, It means what we feel now about you then: How beautiful you were, and near, and young, So vivid, you might still be there among Those first few days, unfingermarked again.
So your old name shelters our faithfulness, Instead of losing shape and meaning less With your depreciating luggage laiden.

by Philip Larkin
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