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Here is unfenced existence, from Here by Phip Larkin. Both he and Dannie Abse both have a strong sense of place in their poetry, however Abse discusses his homeland with more regard for memory,

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Philip Larkin and Dannie Abse on Place "Here is unfenced existence", from Here by Phip Larkin. Both he and Dannie Abse both have a strong sense of place in their poetry, however Abse discusses his homeland with more regard for memory, whereas Larkin seems to assess things using the present and seems to be less involved or ingrained in the place itself compared to Abse who seeks acceptance within his hometown's community. 'Here' is an honest, moving and poignant poem that takes the reader on a strikingly visual journey through the countryside and the towns of England, before finally ending up on the coast by describing the combination of England's beauty and its unattractive urban environment. Larkin uses long, flowing sentences which add a sense of continual movement in the poem.; these sentences are full of rich imagery and description which fully immerse the reader in the poem. The poem is titled 'Here', yet in the first three stanzas the poem takes in various locations and never stands still; the reader questions where 'Here' is, whether or not it is actually a specific, physical location. ...read more.


These lists continue through the stanza and into the third where Larkin still describes this town in a list, which to read makes the reader bump awkwardly over the commas and punctuation, emphasising the unsettling nature of the urban environment. Larkin is quite dismissive of these urban dwellers in the third stanza describing them as simple, from "raw estates" and cut-price, which points towards the poet's dislike of modern consumerism and modernisation in his home country of England. Such disdain for the lower classes may alienate a socialist or working class reading of this poem as derogatory specifically where Larkin uses the word stealing in relation to . The poem as a whole seems to suggest that nature can provide freedom and comfort for those who want to escape the bustle of city life where in the final stanza the speaker appaers to find find freedom with "unfenced existence" in the way that the speaker has been liberated. Dannie Abse's poem "Return to Cardiff" is similar to Larkin's "Here" in that it is roughly a description of their homeland and both discuss the positive and negative sides to the place. ...read more.


In stanza two he emphasises how hot it is, "All afternoon through the tall heat that sleep for miles inland". At this point in his journey southwards he is noticing the hedgerows, the fields, the farmland filled with cattle but the beauty is somewhat spoiled because the cloth train seat is permeated with all kinds of unpleasant smells, however it is clear that Larkin has a love of the English countryside "and now and then a smell of grass". Yet like much of Larkin's poetry such beauty is then warped, with the pretty canals ruined by "floating of industrial froth". To conclude both Larkin and Abse treat "place" with some of affection, especially with regards to their homeland, England for Larkin and Wales for Abse. However they differ in that this affection and nostalgia is limited for different reasons. Larkin expresses no desire indulge in childhood memories or nostalgia in terms of any specific places, instead focusing on generic English countryside, whereas Abse is bitter with regards to lack quest for belonging that he neither receives or did receive as shown in "Return to Cardiff". Larkin is somewhat optimistic with regards to place and expresses how it can inspire people and be a source of escapism, "facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach." ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick Gill ...read more.

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