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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


'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.


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.

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. Philip Larkin's Church Going.

    of the influences that religion may have on him, but also because he is reluctant to accept the church, as it is ultimately losing its significance in society. While the persona enjoys visiting churches, he is unable to articulate the reason why he continually stops to explore them.

  2. What impression do we form of childhood in "I Remember, I Remember" and "Growing ...

    Both poems seem to be negative towards childhood. Growing Up describes the main character as "out of step". I Remember, I Remember trivialises the place where Larkin grew up with "I wasn't even clear which side was which". Both poems seem to have a bitter view of childhood, too.

  1. A Critical Appreciation of Toads Revisited

    He refers to the nurses as 'black-stockinged', and comments on how it would be a nice place to be, which is the only vaguely positive comment in the entire poem. The persona has the same cynical view of the passers-by as well, describing them as 'palsied old step-takers', 'wax-fleshed' and 'hare-eyed'.

  2. Using 3 poems, explore Larkin's contemplations on time

    'Still promising to solve, and satisfy', this particular section of sibilance creates a constant hissing sound, almost as if time is about to creep and attack further developing the idea of time as a brutal force. The rhyme scheme in conjunction with enjambement present an elegant and solemn tone to

  1. Explore the themes and attitudes of Phillip Larkin's

    This shows the natural beach has been ruined by commercialism because of all the everyday rubbish that the poet can see. The final stanza continues the feeling of time moving on, "families trek back to the cars. The white steamer has gone."

  2. How far do you agree that Larkin's poems are too depressing to be effective?

    has read which usually include well-known cheesy fiction with characters like "the dude/ Who lets the girl down before/ The hero arrives" and "the chap/ Who's yellow and keeps the store". Larkin is saying how after all his reading he's just one of those pitiable characters and not the "Evil", exciting character with the "cloak and fangs".

  1. Comparing four or more poems, including those of Brian Pattern - Show how the ...

    'In that raw cocoon of parental hate'. 'I came to believe how it was best that one remained one, for two, one at least would suffer so'. Here Patten explains that for the best its better to keep yourself to yourself, as if you are to become committed at least one of you would hurt.

  2. Behind many of Larkins poems lies a raft of political assumptions, assess the extent ...

    Their wedding day could be argued to be the physical point in their lives that they were at their happiest ?And the albums lettered, / Our Wedding, lying / Near the television?, shows that their marriages and love have now, somehow, been pushed aside and reduced, casually placed beside never be viewed.

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