• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree that Larkin's poems are too depressing to be effective?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far do you agree that Larkin's poems are too depressing to be effective? What makes an effective poem? As this is a rather ambiguous question, I think it is important to first clarify what I think makes an effective poem. The most obvious aspect of a poem that makes it effective is language, imagery and some sort of rhythm. However, this does not make a poem complete. For someone like myself who does not appreciate poetry much unless it evokes some sort of emotion in me, would definitely think that it is emotions, which are integral in making poems successfully effective. Another aspect of a poem, which makes it powerful, is its ability to revive the reader's imagination and amuse them. A good poem makes you feel like you've been there before, takes you back to a feeling you have had before, a situation in your life that you have experienced or want to experience. Larkin's poems are known to be depressing but to what extent are they depressing, is this a negative trait and does it stop them from being effective? To explore this idea I will look closely at two of Larkin's poems, Ambulances and A study of reading habits to discuss the techniques and ideas Larkin uses which make his poems depressing and effective. ...read more.

Middle

not the exciting villains or heroes which is depressing in the fact that he has realised that his role in the world is like that of these boring, failures. At the end of the poem he seems to scorn the books because of his bitter, painful realisation that he cant be one of the characters in his fantasies when he concludes, "Get stewed:/ Books are a load of crap" Contrastingly and on a more amusing note, this final line could also be amusing in that it is quite ironic for a poet to say that "Books are a load of crap". The slang use of words, make him seem fed-up like a common person who finds something he reads difficult to comprehend. Ambulances is rather contrasting to A study of reading habits in both its content and effect. The poems central theme is that of death. Larkin again involves the reader, firstly by talking about a subject universally linked with every person and in the first stanza says that ambulances "come to rest at any kerb/ All streets in time are visited" It paints some rather morbid images to create the scene of a dead person being carried out of their home. ...read more.

Conclusion

where Larkin looks at the extent to which people go to feel a kind of love or hope, talking of their responses to the "healing" as universal and fake. The prime example of this I can think of is his poem, The Whitsun Weddings, which shows several people going through the same process of getting married, believing that it is something individual and special, when in fact every wedding is the same. It shows that people's lives are all a train journey, going the same route and then ending at the same point. To conclude I don't agree with the statement that Larkin's poetry is too depressing to be effective as I think that it is its morbidity which makes it so successful. A poem, which can evoke strong emotions in the reader, is effective, and Larkin shows that he is capable of doing so. He uses images and language to create saddening and sometimes revolting images, being open about the imperfections of life. One of the aspects of his poetry that people find "depressing" is his theme of death, which he includes so openly and effectively, making us think about the absurdity of our actions that try to cover up the acknowledgment of out eventual end and showing us that death is a part of our everyday lives. Hinal Tanna ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philip Larkin section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philip Larkin essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An 'A' Level candidate described Larkin as a "grumpy, old, git". Based on High ...

    3 star(s)

    Asides from the common perception of Larkin as old, It could be argued that he encompasses a Grumpy persona. In 'Friday Night in The Royal Station Hotel' Larkin's misery at life is shown with the use of paradox's such as "light spreads darkly downwards from the high clusters of lights over empty chairs".

  2. Philip Larkin's Church Going.

    In Days, Larkin explores the race between "the priest and the doctor," science and religion, to discover the meaning of life, and concludes that ultimately, neither will prevail. Similarly, in this poem, Larkin plays with the notion of the human desire for reasons and explanations, and describes religion's role in this search.

  1. Larkin has been accused of a lack of sympathy in his poetry, based on ...

    The swing also could be interpreted as a symbol of freedom, and the sandpit a symbol of industry and work, a motif linked with 'fathers', later in the poem, "stand husbands in skilled traders". This idea could be used by Larkin to challenge the conventions people live to, instead of

  2. Poetry - A Study of Reading Habits.

    The statement at the end of the poem "books are a load of crap" makes clear that the speaker is very dismissive of books. In lines one and three it is indicated why the persona spends most of his time reading.

  1. How typical in terms of subject, theme, structure and versification is 'Faith Healing' by ...

    In the poem, we are told of Mr Bleaney's old room that is cheap and not cared for. The persona explores Bleaney's life. Ironically, he finds he can identify with him in some respects. 'So it happens that I lie, Where Mr Bleaney lay'.

  2. Compare the Ways in which Plath and Larkin explore ideas about Parenthood in their ...

    Although these excerpts could be taken literally, as she was pregnant with him at the time, I believe they refer to his future, and her hopes and dreams, as both phrases 'high riser' and 'to the stars' are metaphors for being able to do anything, to become as successful as possible.

  1. How far do you agree that 'To the sea' conveys a sense of disappointment?

    In the second verse Larkin shows that the same things are happening at the seaside as when he used to come when he was a child. He shows his shock in the first line "still going on, all of it, still going on!"

  2. Behind many of Larkins poems lies a raft of political assumptions, assess the extent ...

    and site,? there is a sense of restraint ? perhaps less of looking down on the working class, but more of a empathetic viewpoint in which instead of feeling superior to them he feels sorry for them. Yet, despite ?the heap of shirts and trousers? in the bleak colours, there are separate ?stands for Modes of Night?.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work