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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'

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Introduction

"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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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