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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

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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.

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