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

Marriage of the familiar with the unexpected makes the 'Whitsun Weddings' Larkin's most satisfying collection of poems." - Simon Petch - Discuss how this applies to the 'Whitsun Weddings'

Extracts from this document...


"The poems show us, by various means and from varying perspectives, our common urban environment, and our common patterns of thought and behaviour, in a new light or from an unusual point of view. This fine marriage of the familiar with the unexpected makes the 'Whitsun Weddings' Larkin's most satisfying collection of poems." - Simon Petch - Discuss how this applies to the 'Whitsun Weddings' Philip Larkin's collection of poems- 'The Whitsun Weddings' displays Larkin's varying perspectives of modern day living and situations. The way Larkin uses style, language and unusual points of view in his poetry clearly conveys his attitudes and observations of life to the reader through his eyes. Simon Petch states that Larkin's poetry is presented to the reader by various means. Many of the poems featured in the 'Whitsun Weddings' are set out in a traditional manner. The paragraphs in each stanza are roughly the same length. Larkin sometimes uses rhyme; however the rhyme scheme in each poem usually varies. An example of Larkin's rhyme scheme and the way the stanzas are set out is in the poem is 'Self's the Man'. The rhyme scheme is regular (A,A,B,B) throughout the whole poem. ...read more.


The main viewpoints that are conveyed through many of the personas are clearly Larkin's own perspective on a situation. We know this because of Larkin's personal background and his feelings towards life from various biographers and critics. For example we know that Larkin had a strong dislike of urban working class areas. This dislike is shown through the persona in the poem 'Here'. Larkin shows us our 'common urban environment' in the poems 'Here', and 'The Large Cool Store'. It is within these poems that the reader learns Larkin's personal dislike for the urban environment. An example of Larkin describing our common environment in the poem 'Here'- "Swerving east, from rich industrial shadows ...A cut-price crowd, urban yet simple" From this quotation, when Larkin describes the 'industrial shadows', a sinister image is conjured up in the readers mind. 'A cut price crowd' describes the working class residents of the area who are trapped in a cut price world. A lot of Larkin's common patterns of thought in the 'Whitsun Weddings' poetry collection include love ('Love Songs in Age'), nostalgia ('MCMXIV'), dislike of urban environments ('Here'), religion ('Water'), sentimentality ('Broadcast'), unfulfillment ('Faith Healing'), disappointment ('Toads Revisited'), death (Take One Home For The Kiddies') ...read more.


Other unusual points of view from Larkin are found in poems such as 'Wild Oats' and 'Broadcast'. I think this because we know for a fact that Larkin was an anti-social loner who avoided self pity and sentimentality, so to read these very personal poems of love and lost love is very unusual for Larkin because of his personality. The persona in these two poems are very romantic and sentimental- unlike Larkin. In my opinion, I feel that the 'Whitsun Weddings' is a satisfying collection. I think this because they cover a variety of emotions in an effective way. I also think that with the type of personality that Larkin had, it would have been very easy for him to have been tempted into letting his negative views on life and situations spill over into his writing. Instead, he manages to balance good with bad, and put some of his stronger personal views aside to create effective poems. Larkin does keep a lot of his viewpoints in his poetry as and when relevant which adds a more personal touch to his poetry and even give readers a different insight on situations of everyday life. ...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. 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. Larkin has often been regarded as a hopeless and inflexible pessimist. In the light ...

    Change is an apparent theme behind Larkin's pessimistic poetry. He uses this a lot in his poetry. It is shown in 'Mr Bleaney' as a quick change however in 'Nothing to be said' it is a slow change. This demonstrates Larkin's avoidance in order to create an observational biased argument rather than an opinion.

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

    A conventional characteristic of Larkin is that he tends to examine people who themselves are observing something. This characteristic is shown particularly within Ambulances, a poem describing people witnessing a body being taken by an ambulance. The interest in death that people are demonstrating reflects the poet's interest in death

  2. With close reference to 2 or 3 poems in 'The Whitsun Weddings', discuss the ...

    Both are "running over the fields" in an attempt to reach their goal which is the answer to Larkin's question. His question is not really about days but is in fact asking why we are here? What is the point of time and us living in it?

  1. The Whitsun Weddings - Philip Larkin.

    Also this poem has a sense of realism as the replacement poster is called 'fight cancer'. Larkin, I think, chose to end the poem with the line 'Now Fight Cancer is there' as it shows the total extremes between a good life which is what the Sunny Prestatyn poster was all about.

  2. From your study of Larkin to date, choose and comment on up to 4 ...

    By beginning with ironic, detached social commentary of a character or setting, Larkin then typically twists his audience into an often alternative and dramatic direction in his final comments. This is clear in 'MCMXIV', 'Essential Beauty' and 'Mr. Bleaney', which follow a similar observation followed by a comment structure.

  1. Larkin’s poetry often deals with the dissatisfaction of modern living and the reality of ...

    seen again, and is expressing their dissatisfaction of the modern world today. The whole poem is one sentence, and there is no main verb. Due to the lack of full stops the poem is freer and gives a sense of tranquillity and unhurried flow.

  2. Here, Whitsun Weddings and Dockery and Son are all poems written by Larkin that ...

    A journey towards isolation is similarly discussed in ?Dockery and Son?. The train journey in this poem is significant as it not only echoes a stream of consciousness and a mental journey, but reflects Larkin?s overarching point; happiness is transitory, only death is inevitable, and isolation therefore has as much worth as a family and company.

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