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The Theme of Time in The Two Poems, 'Days' and 'Toads Revisited'

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Introduction

The Theme of Time in The Two Poems, 'Days' and 'Toads Revisited' By Philip Larkin. The titles of these poems alone suggest there will be a theme of time in them; The title 'Days' speaks for itself as days are a way of measuring time, 'Toads Revisited' however is much more subtle but the notion of revisiting, indirectly tells us that he is going somewhere or doing something that he has done before in his lifetime. 'Days' is a poem about Larkin's views on death and how our approach on the subject can alter the way we live. Larkin begins his first stanza with the rhetorical question of 'What are days for?", though this is a question similar to the biggest question of all time 'What is the meaning of life?' ...read more.

Middle

'Toads Revisited' unlike 'Days' is the second poem out of two, the first being similar in subject but written 10 years before when Larkin was at a different stage in his life. 'Toads Revisited' is written in a much more day to day fashion where as 'Days' is written on a more general topic. 'Toads Revisited' is about Larkin's distaste for work and his realisation that without it his life would be empty. He looks at the way in which people without jobs spend their time. He comes to the conclusion that without his job he would have too much time and he would become bored. ...read more.

Conclusion

in response to this Larkin does not answer but concludes that to tackle such a question will sooner kill you than lead you to an answer, "solving that question brings the priest and the doctor in their long coats". This is a sinister image that personifies death. The last two stanzas of 'Toads revisited' show Larkin's acceptance of work but not in a way that he embraces the idea of work with love and passion, but that he has not alternatives "What else can I answer". Like the poem 'Days' 'Toads Revisited' also end on a sombre note about death, "give me your arm, old toad; Help me down Cemetery road", again here death has been personified in the eerie form of a toad. Both these poems send out the message that death is ominous and inevitable. ...read more.

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