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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far do you agree that Larkin's poems are too depressing to be effective? What makes an effective poem? As this is a rather ambiguous question, I think it is important to first clarify what I think makes an effective poem. The most obvious aspect of a poem that makes it effective is language, imagery and some sort of rhythm. However, this does not make a poem complete. For someone like myself who does not appreciate poetry much unless it evokes some sort of emotion in me, would definitely think that it is emotions, which are integral in making poems successfully effective. Another aspect of a poem, which makes it powerful, is its ability to revive the reader's imagination and amuse them. A good poem makes you feel like you've been there before, takes you back to a feeling you have had before, a situation in your life that you have experienced or want to experience. Larkin's poems are known to be depressing but to what extent are they depressing, is this a negative trait and does it stop them from being effective? To explore this idea I will look closely at two of Larkin's poems, Ambulances and A study of reading habits to discuss the techniques and ideas Larkin uses which make his poems depressing and effective. ...read more.

Middle

not the exciting villains or heroes which is depressing in the fact that he has realised that his role in the world is like that of these boring, failures. At the end of the poem he seems to scorn the books because of his bitter, painful realisation that he cant be one of the characters in his fantasies when he concludes, "Get stewed:/ Books are a load of crap" Contrastingly and on a more amusing note, this final line could also be amusing in that it is quite ironic for a poet to say that "Books are a load of crap". The slang use of words, make him seem fed-up like a common person who finds something he reads difficult to comprehend. Ambulances is rather contrasting to A study of reading habits in both its content and effect. The poems central theme is that of death. Larkin again involves the reader, firstly by talking about a subject universally linked with every person and in the first stanza says that ambulances "come to rest at any kerb/ All streets in time are visited" It paints some rather morbid images to create the scene of a dead person being carried out of their home. ...read more.

Conclusion

where Larkin looks at the extent to which people go to feel a kind of love or hope, talking of their responses to the "healing" as universal and fake. The prime example of this I can think of is his poem, The Whitsun Weddings, which shows several people going through the same process of getting married, believing that it is something individual and special, when in fact every wedding is the same. It shows that people's lives are all a train journey, going the same route and then ending at the same point. To conclude I don't agree with the statement that Larkin's poetry is too depressing to be effective as I think that it is its morbidity which makes it so successful. A poem, which can evoke strong emotions in the reader, is effective, and Larkin shows that he is capable of doing so. He uses images and language to create saddening and sometimes revolting images, being open about the imperfections of life. One of the aspects of his poetry that people find "depressing" is his theme of death, which he includes so openly and effectively, making us think about the absurdity of our actions that try to cover up the acknowledgment of out eventual end and showing us that death is a part of our everyday lives. Hinal Tanna ...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. Marked by a teacher

    An 'A' Level candidate described Larkin as a "grumpy, old, git". Based on High ...

    3 star(s)

    hangs open and drools, and you keep on pissing yourself, and can't remember". Larkin presents the reader with negative connotations of the ageing process one which provides no dignity and instead installs a fear and loathing of age. However, it could be argued that Larkin is far removed from the

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

    It tells you he tries to cover up. 'He couldn't risk my blight of disbelief' this is quoted in the third verse. He clearly says he couldn't risk his son seeing the way in which he was reacting towards the death of his mother. He couldn't endanger seeing the look on his sons face of the though that he was going mad.

  1. How typical in terms of subject, theme, structure and versification is 'Faith Healing' by ...

    Not only is this referred to in Faith Healing, but is also the main theme for Love Songs In Age. In this poem, a lady discovers old manuscripts of the commercial pop songs of days gone by. The lyrics meant a lot once but it now upsets her to think

  2. Compare the Ways in which Plath and Larkin explore ideas about Parenthood in their ...

    Although these excerpts could be taken literally, as she was pregnant with him at the time, I believe they refer to his future, and her hopes and dreams, as both phrases 'high riser' and 'to the stars' are metaphors for being able to do anything, to become as successful as possible.

  1. How far do you agree that 'To the sea' conveys a sense of disappointment?

    In the second verse Larkin shows that the same things are happening at the seaside as when he used to come when he was a child. He shows his shock in the first line "still going on, all of it, still going on!"

  2. By Close Reading Of At Least Three Of His Poems, Discuss The Qualities That ...

    In his eyes the 'dregs of society'. 'All dodging toad work' The last two stanzas are, again, a type of reconciliation Larkin has with himself. He takes into account the need for work and that he quite enjoys it really. Also that without work one would have nothing to work towards, such as the end of a long day.

  1. 'Larkin is often thought of as a gloomy poet, describing life and the world ...

    The poem's title has religious connotations and suggests that the poem is a defined teaching within life. Out of all verses within Bibles, songs, hymns etc. the "This Be the" part of the title advocates that this is the most important verse and adds extra significance to the poem's substance.

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

    It could be that Arnold has a happy marriage; most of the time, for every complaint is stereotypical and unimaginative. Even if does Arnold constantly moan about his marriage, the persona has a simplistic, unsympathetic view, while the childlike rhyming couplets which often stretch the rhyme scheme, ?dryer? and ?fire?, for example, augment the unlikeable, immature character.

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