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Arrival-Poetry commentary

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Poem: Arrival Commentary Arrival written by Philip Larken highlights the plight of man in this modern world full of stress, noise and people. It revolves around the theme of isolation. Philip Larken wants to live a detached life towards the ends of his life. All the worldly aspects of life, he wished to stack at the back of his mind and enjoy peace and serenity. In quest of anonymity he has probably migrated to a new city. The poem is a kind of lament wherein the poem wants to get over his past and get on with a life of seclusion. The narrator is considered to be the poet himself since he talks in first person throughout the course of the poem. The tone is that of funereal dismal aloofness. "For this ignorance of me Seems a kind of innocence." These lines from stanza 3, lines 1 and 2 strikes as the master chord summarizing the content of the poem. ...read more.


Metaphors have also been experimented with in the poem; such as 'wide-branched indifference' in stanza 1 line 2. A wide branch offers shelter to those lying under it from the excessive light and provides a soothing feeling. Similarly this indifference seems to comfort the poet. Arrival, the title of the poem, literally signifies the arrival of the poet in a new city in the morning. It could also signify the poet's arrival into a world of seclusion and solitude, the arrival into a new phase of his life. As he opens the window of this new place, the wind enables the curtains to fly and old memories are forgotten. This phase of his life seems to be slow, serene but majestic. The serenity is expressed with the use of words like 'white shelves', 'slow sky' and 'doves'. The royalty and majestic feeling is given by the use of words like 'gold names' and 'domes'. His decision to stay in the new city there is clear with the affirmative line in stanza 1, line 5, "I land to stay here". ...read more.


He desires to continue with this until he succumbs to mortality just as the Fall of Adam and Eve after they left Eden. This is the perfect style of dying according to Philip Larkin. He describes it to be 'slow-falling; grey-veil-hung; a theft,' this life enables a death that falls slowly and gradually, a veil protecting it from the outside world. A theft is performed secretly and stealthily. Similarly this death stealthily takes hold of you. Arrival seems to be a reflection portraying the poet's thoughts. He makes use of figurative dialect to create a binding sensation onto the reader and let him experience what the poet is feeling. It describes the thoughts that go through the mind of the poet at one particular instance of his life, wherein he has chosen to isolate himself from the world. The poet feels that the style of dying is that of living with detachment. He realizes this at the autumn phases of his life in which he migrate to a new phase that shall justify his belief. Serenity is sought after once one enters this phase and all things of materialistic value take a set-back. Jinal Sanghavi ...read more.

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