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Choose two poems in which Larkin explores places, Discuss his use of language, form and structure and the attitudes he explores towards the subject (Here & The Importance of Elsewhere).

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Introduction

Choose two poems in which Larkin explores places, Discuss his use of language, form and structure and the attitudes he explores towards the subject (Here & The Importance of Elsewhere). As is common for Larkin he begins the poem "Here" on a journey. This particular poem suggests a train journey from the south-east, maybe in London where Larkin spent a great deal of his time, up to the north-east, to possibly his Home town of Hull. He depicts, from what we imagine to be his seat on the train, many features of post war England as the train moves out of the "industrial shadows" up to rural Landscape and back to urban surroundings before reaching it's final destination. Larkin uses the idea of journeys and travelling to create the sensation of time passing or to illustrate changes in the world or economy. However, unlike "Here", "The Importance of Elsewhere" does not see Larkin begin his journey, rather he begins this poem when he obviously feels, as indicated by the opening line "lonely in Ireland". ...read more.

Middle

This new location claims Larkin, is only the place of a "cut priced crowd" visited only by "salesman and relations". Yet larkin still plays with the ideas of "never having it so good" as he comments on "mortgaged half built edges" that are not yet owned let alone finished. Nevertheless, Larkin again describes the calm rural landscape and sets a still and silent atmosphere by finishing long windy sentences with a short stopping sentence. Using another list, Larkin begins to describe his rural surroundings "hidden weeds flower", "neglected waters quicken" and he uses assonance when setting the "bluish neutral" background. The elemental images used by larkin such as water and earth create a calm tranquil setting. In the place where Larkin is, weeds are not killed off but left to "flower", waters are not polluted or blocked but "neglected" and allowed to flow, nothing is hemmed in. "Here" claims Larkin is "unfenced existence" where he faces the sun, "untalkative, out of reach". ...read more.

Conclusion

In Ireland Larkin is perhaps more justified in his feelings, as he is not at home in familiar surroundings, surrounded by familiar faces, and so should feel a little strange? However, the fact that Larkin feels "England has no such excuse" shows us that he feels awkward there as well, Hence the importance of elsewhere for Larkin. Both poems conclusively point to the same thing, and therefore both have similar endings. The Fact that Larkin is not a people person and views himself as a "person in the shade"(w w) is suggested by the endings of both "Here" and "The Importance of Elsewhere" where Larkin ends up alone or talking about a place where he can be alone. "Here" sees Larkin travel on a long train journey to end up in "unfenced existence", "out of sight" and "out of reach", many argue, this is as Larkin would prefer. However, "The Importance of Elsewhere" talks of how Larkin feels strange away from home as he does at home, and stresses the importance of elsewhere, where "no elsewhere underwrites" Larkin's "existence". ...read more.

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