Remind yourself of the last poem in the book: ‘An Arundel Tomb’.To what extent do you agree with the view that in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is an appropriate ending to the whole collection?
Remind yourself of the last poem in the book: 'An Arundel Tomb'. To what extent do you agree with the view that in terms of subject matter and style, this poem is an appropriate ending to the whole collection? The 'Whitsun Weddings' are a collection of poems written by Phillip Larkin that take you on an emotional, thought provoking rollercoaster ride as he describes the everyday things that he sees around him and in his own unique way brings them to life through his poetry. Possibly because he is unimpressed by the concept of mass consumerism: refusing to even buy himself a television until the 1970's. Larkin can be cruel in his portrayal of the 'cut-price' crowd and their 'cheap suits, ... red kitchen ware and sharp shoes.' Ably and uniquely using a variety of language tools to give his poems vibrancy, for example using alliteration to emphasise his subject 'ships up street, the slave museum' and using one long sentence to signify the train track and train sounds. You are in no doubt that he is on a train which is an excellent way of starting a journey, both his own and the collection of poems. The last poem in the collection 'The Arundel Tomb' talks about a 'stationary voyage' in which 'The earl and his countess lie in stone'. I feel that the enduring nature of the stone carving and the relationship between the earl and the countess demonstrates that after death there
Larkin’s poetry often deals with the dissatisfaction of modern living and the reality of life today. With reference to at least two poems show how true this is.
Larkin's poetry often deals with the dissatisfaction of modern living and the reality of life today. With reference to at least two poems show how true this is. To answer this I will be looking at poems taken from Philip Larkin's collection 'The Whitsun Weddings.' The two poems I have chosen to focus on in more depth are 'MCMXIV' and 'A Study of Reading Habits' 'MCMXIV' has often been read as a nostalgic poem as it reflects the speakers desire to return to some earlier time in their life, but is also a poem tinged with sadness as it deals with the period before and immediately after World War One. It reflects the vanishing way of traditional English life and how the speaker is saddened by the changing world. As the title 'MCMXIV' suggests it is a poem, which looks at the past and in contrast to the reality of the world today. The detailed descriptions seem to suggest the speaker is looking at old photographs. Stanza one for example may show that the speaker is looking at on old photograph that shows, 'Long uneven lines standing as patiently as if they were stretched outside the oval...' These long lines maybe the queues of conscripts waiting to sign up to join the army. This shows how in the past people were very willing and eager to fight and even risk their own lives, and also how close the community was in 1914. The spirit at this time is described as, 'A August
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?' Larkin answers it with a simple monosyllabic response, "Days are where we live". For such a broad and open question this is a very closed, unrefined answer. This could be a reflection of Larkin's view on the meaning of life, that he feels it is not important to search for a complex answer. I get the impression that Larkin is tired of life and its repetitive structure, "They come they wake us, time and time over" this is shown by his impassionate language and monosyllabic style. Its seems as if he feels time is passing too slowly. '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 Critical Appreciation of Toads Revisited At face value, Philip Larkin's Toads Revisited seems to be a vessel he is using to convey his negative feelings towards work and the working world. Look deeper and you can see that, while he complains about work, it is in actual fact the more favourable option for him, rather than doing nothing at all. Philip Larkin had a Coventry upbringing and attended King Henry VIII School, before moving to Oxford, to St. John's College to study English. There he became part of what was commonly known as 'The Movement', which also included Thom Gunn and Donald Davie. They had a witty, cynical outlook on life and were well known for their anti-romantic ideas. They did not use many metaphors in their works, but instead were rational and frank with their words. This negative way of thinking can be seen within his poems, and is clearly visible within Toads Revisited. The poem starts with a mental image of a park; however the persona does not describe it as an enjoyable place to be. In the second line the words 'should feel better than work' cast a dim shadow over the scene, and quickly change the audience's idea of the poems mood. He begins to list characteristics in a melancholy tone, a typical technique of the persona when he is uninspired. He portrays the children's voices in the playground as 'blurred', to give the impression that the persona's
Phillip Larkin Introduction Poet Phillip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922. Raised in the orthodox middle class he graduated from Oxford in 1943 with a first in English. Already writing about his experiences he named his childhood as 'a forgotten boredom'. Most of his writings had been unnoticed until he began work at Hull University as a librarian in 1955 where he found a suitable publisher. His most famous work was 'The Whitsun weddings' which was published in 1964. Although his work was now growing in popularity he shunned all types of publicity. Eventually he died in 1985. His work spanned over two very important eras in English history - the 50's and 60's. Although both prominent times they were important for very separate reasons. The 50's were remembered by many as a grey time. This was due to the fact that as we were still rebuilding from the damage of the war there was very little or even no entertainment, also shortages of food and essential items were still very apparent. Many people think that Larkin's bleak nature came from this era. At this time he was criticised greatly for his pessimism. The 60's are remembered for much better reasons. It was a time of prosperity for the country and the economy boomed. The tourist industry grew and people shone with confidence. The Large Cool Store The poem starts by introducing what he sees. There is a large store
Here is unfenced existence, from Here by Phip Larkin. Both he and Dannie Abse both have a strong sense of place in their poetry, however Abse discusses his homeland with more regard for memory,
Philip Larkin and Dannie Abse on Place "Here is unfenced existence", from Here by Phip Larkin. Both he and Dannie Abse both have a strong sense of place in their poetry, however Abse discusses his homeland with more regard for memory, whereas Larkin seems to assess things using the present and seems to be less involved or ingrained in the place itself compared to Abse who seeks acceptance within his hometown's community. 'Here' is an honest, moving and poignant poem that takes the reader on a strikingly visual journey through the countryside and the towns of England, before finally ending up on the coast by describing the combination of England's beauty and its unattractive urban environment. Larkin uses long, flowing sentences which add a sense of continual movement in the poem.; these sentences are full of rich imagery and description which fully immerse the reader in the poem. The poem is titled 'Here', yet in the first three stanzas the poem takes in various locations and never stands still; the reader questions where 'Here' is, whether or not it is actually a specific, physical location. In 'Here', Larkin appears to be critical of the urban population, "residents from raw estates", finding more beauty and appeal in the natural world than the human world, demonstrated by the fact that human presence in the poem is only temporary, fading away after the third stanza. The
From your study of Larkin to date, choose and comment on up to 4 poems where you have found this distinctive style at work.
"Larkin's style is distinctive: ironic, detached and observant, with a characteristic eye for the telling social detail and turn-of-phrase. It is a style- understated and hesitant- which many have seen as perfectly suited to the world of post-War Britain." From your study of Larkin to date, choose and comment on up to 4 poems where you have found this distinctive style at work. Larkin's style of writing, like most poets, was heavily influenced by the environment and society that surrounded him. It has been suggested by many that Larkin is a bleak, though suitable, social commentator for this era, as Eric Homberger suggests, he is "the saddest heart in the post-war supermarket." This role owes a large amount to his technique and approach to poetry. His sceptical, perceptive and removed outlook is reflected into poems such as 'Mr. Bleaney', 'MCMXIV' and 'Essential Beauty', brilliantly capturing the ironically familiar scenes of post-War Britain. 'Days', however, perhaps provides an exception to Larkin's unique observational style, revealing a more personal, philosophical approach. 'Mr. Bleaney' is a good illustration of Larkin's distinctive style. The poem begins with a description of the character's room and his situation, such as, 'Flowered curtains, thin and frayed, Fall to within five inches of the sill'. This extract highlights the observational aspect of Larkin's
Poetry - A Study of Reading Habits I have recently finished reading a poem called "A Study of Reading Habits" written by Philip Larkin. When I first heard the title I had expectations that it would be a mundane insight into different people's reading habits, written in a formal and artificial manner. I also expected that it was written by someone who was very interested in books, and published in either a newspaper or teaching journal. However, when I actually read the poem I was surprised because the language used is in fact informal and quite rude. The poet uses scatological words such as "crap" where I would have expected more intellectual, vivid expressions. Furthermore, the content of the poem is not about a variety of different people's reading habits but instead just focused on one particular person's. As I studied the poem in more detail, I began to notice the techniques that were particularly effective and realised that beneath everything there was actually an interesting and thought-provoking theme. So in this essay I will highlight the points that were brought to my attention and explain the true meanings of the poem. At a general level, I noticed how well structured the poem was. It was divided equally into three verses which were arranged chronologically. Each verse describes the reading habits of a person at different ages. The first verse indicates late
Church Going Philip Larkin's Church Going reflects upon the place of churches in society and how they will last. Larkin bases the poem on his experience when visiting a church. Throughout the poem, Larkin moves towards a general, universal statement: religion will survive, even after churches fall into disrepair. In the poem, the narrator initially identifies the deterioration of churches. Larkin's word choice in stanzas 1: "brownish", "musty" and "sprawlings" give the impression of something uncared for. Brownish and musty , in particular suggest decay. Sprawlings connotes spread out in a disordered fashion. The negative description of the church shows the narrator's first impression. Larkin's description of the poor condition of the churches progresses to show his lack of admiration for churches. Larkin in "Church Going" puts forth the view that he is unimpressed by churches. He describes them as "another church" : it's the same as the others and there is nothing that makes it stand out. While musing whether the church's roof is new or been cleaned Larkin says: "Someone must know: I don't ". This is very dismissive. The narrator does not appreciate the cosmetic effort. The narrator also talks about donating money to the church and draws the conclusion that "the place was not worth stopping for". Larkin struggles to understand the significance or the importance of
Phillip Larkin - Here Larkin's "Here" is a poem written in a present continuous style where it describes a train journey. Larkin starts in the midst of "rich industrial shadows" and ends in "unfenced existence" Each of the four eight line stanzas take the reader on a journey exploring the poets reaction to the surroundings that the train passes through. The title gives a sense of immediacy and validity, it lends to the image that the poet writes the poem in the train whilst he is travelling, as if he is documenting what he observes as and when it happens. To create a sense of movement Larkin uses the word "swerving" This word opens the first stanza by suggesting movement but also direction, "swerving east", In this stanza we discover that the poet is moving away from a large town or city as evidenced by the words "from rich industrial shadows and traffic all night north.;" The lines "swerving through fields...", "harsh-named halt...", and "workmen at dawn;" make it clear that the poet is on a train. The word swerving is used again to continue the movement of the poem that began in the first line. The "harsh-named halt" is a station stop and the "workmen at dawn" are arguably the workers who build and maintain train tracks. The negative beginning of the first stanza becomes a positive end as the poet reaches countryside. The poet swerves again but this time he is