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

Larkin and Abse on relationships. The essay will discuss this contrast by examing Larkins Whitsun Weddings, Wild Oats and Arundel Tomb, and Dannie Abses Imitations and Sons

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Larkin and abse discussing relationships Philip Larkin and Dannie Abse have very different and contrating attitudes to relationships. On the whole, Larkin presents the concepts of love and marriage as very superficial and meaningless, whereas Abse appears to be less such nihilistic and more open and positive about such topics. The essay will discuss this contrast by examing Larkin's "Whitsun Weddings", "Wild Oats" and "Arundel Tomb", and Dannie Abse's "Imitations" and "Sons". The poem entitled `The Whitsun Weddings` is an observational piece by Larkin when he was travelling from Hull to London by train. The poem has seven stanzas and is is typical of Larkin. The words are simple, the emotions are blunted and the verse is packed with cynicism, as on the whole, he was a grumpy individual. Whit Sunday falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter and years ago it was a public holiday. Whit Sunday and Whit Monday are important days in the religious calendar otherwise known as the Pentecost. At a time when most of the families in Great Britain were in a celebratory Bank holiday mood Larkin was feeling discontent as he embarked on his train journey from Hull to London. Larkin has used the first line of each stanza to tell us what that particular verse is going to be all about, in the subsequent lines Larkin then tells us his tale. In stanza one the scene is set, Larkin had a late start and the lunchtime train from Hull to London felt clammy because ...read more.

Middle

no such optimism, he focuses on the fact that he has no son and probably never will, much like in Larkin's "Dockery and Son" where he contemplates his lack of contribution to his species existence of how his life when he dies will cease to have meaning. The poem 'An Arundel Tomb' written by Phillip Larkin illustrates the relationship between two forms found on a tomb. This poem shows the 'lies' love can tell, and the falseness of how their relationship is portrayed. The fact that their hands are clasped in one another's grip is seen to be symbolic of their undying and everlasting love for each other. Larkin uses humour, along with sarcasm and irony to demonstrate that this is in fact symbolic of nothing and merely by 'a sculptor's sweet commissioned grace'. How can we believe this evident lie, for it is not them who have chosen to be placed like this? Therefore it cannot be a true show of emotions. Furthermore not just one life but two, and how their personalities were adjoined together cannot merely be judged by the way their hands have been similarly adjoined together on their tombstone. Archaic language is used within this poem to emphasise the age of the tombs. In the first line of the first stanza it says 'their faces blurred' this also illustrates the age of the tombs and how long it has been since they had lived and felt this 'love', as it shows the stone has begun to corrode. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poetic intention of the poem is made blatantly clear using sarcasm in the final three lines of the poem. That the love has died with them and the 'attitude' that remains is an 'untruth'. The rhyme scheme also mirrors this, 'prove' rhymes with 'love', showing poetic irony as the love has been disproved. The final three lines of the poem show Larkin's affective use of sarcasm and wit; the quantifier 'almost' is repeated, suggesting in subtle tones to the reader this is in fact sarcasm. The poem ends with no enjambment but a full stop adding the bluntness of the last line, 'What will survive of us is love.' This also emphasises that as the poem has ended as has the love between this Earl and Countess. This poem is observational and though provoking and leaves questions in the readers mind on the subject of love and namely time and the changes that occur over time. I conclude that this is yet another nihilistic Larkin poem, which finishes on the question, "does love endure?" his answer, is a plain no! Therefore overall we can say that Abse holds far more positive and uplifting views on relationships shown by the poem "Sons" where he describes his offspring's teenage behaviour, then admitting "I was like that" as if to appease him and always showing the bond between father and Son. Such a bond is absent in Larkin's life and this transfers into his poetry accordingly. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick Gill ...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. Poetry and Melancholy in Sheers Examination of Welsh Identity

    Both the grandfather and Albrecht know that their consolation is 'only temporary,' as Albrecht admits on page 139, and they are both suspended between life and death. This idea is supported by the placement of 'driftwood' at the end of the line; we are forced to merely drift through our

  2. Wild Oats & Afternoons: A Comparitive Essay

    There is no alliteration, no simile, just everyday speech. The result is a conversational piece which comes across as very intimate and personal, almost confessional in style. In the first stanza, the fact that the poem is a reflection on past events is established in the first line "About twenty

  1. Death is a leveller. Discuss the statement in reference to Ozymandias and Death the ...

    Pale captives could mean two things, it could refer to the idea of death making us colourless and trapped as you cannot escape from death or it could signify the King before he was executed. To creep to death gives the feeling of the victim slowly passing away into deaths hands, a way which nearly everyone dies.

  2. Larkin often seems to criticise society. In the light of this statement, what connections ...

    trudge on in their day to day lives, however it could also be Larkin's view that for him these type of people aren't going fast enough either. It may be true of Larkin's opinion that the only thing he shares in common with these people is death and it is

  1. Comparison between 'Tall Nettles' and 'Thistles'

    stanzas on for impact, but from here we have a serious of short, sharp sentences stopping both mid verse and at the end. These short sentences create tension in the reader and picks up the pace of the poem slightly.

  2. Compare the ways in which Duffy and Larkin write about the theme of Nostalgia ...

    This suggests the feeling of bitterness and how money holds no substance, indifferent and no replacement for love. This tone of bitterness is further emphasised by the use of alliteration of 'crude', 'coins' and 'clenched'. A point to note out here is how through the emotion of nostalgia, the reality does not live up to the dream.

  1. Compare 'Mr Bleaney' (by Philip Larkin) & 'In Memory of My Grandfather' (by Edward ...

    My opinions will vary from the poets, however this is what I reflect. The poem on Mr Bleaney is eloquent yet depressing. The poet tried to achieve the aspects of his life and put it in a poem. He has done it successfully, but there is anger and misery, because the poet could not articulate all his sentiment together.

  2. Women are dismissed as insignificant in both the poetry of Larkin and Eliot. How ...

    Cleopatra is a symbol of true love; she committed suicide after her love died, but Eliot?s female persona is surrounded by the corruption of sex, with a picture on the wall depicting the rape of Philomel, and her loveless relationship with the man, who centres on indifference.

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