Premium Essay

Larkin as Poet

In: English and Literature

Submitted By abrarhussain
Words 5367
Pages 22
Larkin has been regarded as one of the most pessimistic poets. Larkin surely takes a very dark view of human life. The main emphasis in his poems is on failure and frustration in human life. And then there is his preoccupation with death. In a number of poems he emphasizes the sombre and grim aspects of human life and in many poems he speaks of the cert of death. We are all aware of the facts of failure and frustration in human life and we are all aware of the faith of death. But what makes Larkin a pessimist, and a confirmed pessimist at that, is his repeated emphasis, and over-emphasis, on these aspects of human life. On explanation of his repeated reminders to us of the certain of death, he has been regarded as “a graveyard poet”; and the general and brooding atmosphere of melancholy and despondency in his poems justifies the label “pessimist” for him. A number of poems come to our minds in this connection. The poem Ambulances paints a gloomy picture of human life because of the fact that every street is visited by an ambulance at one time or the other. An ambulance is a symbol of disease and death. Dockery and Son contains the following pessimistic line: “Life is first boredom, then fear”. And this poem concludes with the pessimistic view that there is old age, and that the end of old age is death. Aubade is a poem in which Larkin’s fear of death reaches its climax. Larkin himself described it his “in-a-funk-about-death poem.”

The Positive Features of His Pessimistic Poems

However, Larkin is not a regularly pessimistic poet. Some of his poems have a extremely moral character which expresses itself in the need to control and organize life, rather than submit to a pre-determined pattern of failure. There is generally a debate going on in many of his poems between the positive and the negative aspects of human life. Often, in these poems, he speaks in his...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

At Grass

...At Grass Philip Larkin Summary      The poet is observing two race horses in retirement and imagining their racing careers. It is interesting that Larkin doesn’t mention the word ‘horse’, though he mentions so many aspects of horses that he doesn’t need to use the term ‘horse’. In the first stanza, he looks at two horses at twilight. His eye finds it hard to see the outline of the horses in the twilight. It is when the wind blows at the tail of each horse that he sees their outline. One of the horses is moving while the second horse stands there motionless. Then the moving horse stands still like the other and there is no way of distinguishing them in the twilight. The words ‘cold shade’ and ‘distressed’ create a disturbing atmosphere. These words may imply the death that soon awaits the old, retired horses. In the second stanza Larkin introduces a flashback. The poet guesses that these old looking horses were famous fifteen years ago as racehorses. He imagines that they won various Cups. Memories of these afternoons are ‘faint’ or faded now. He guesses that whatever races they won, the total winning distances achieved by the two racehorses in various races was less than twenty-four horse-lengths. These winning distances turned the horses into celebrities of the racetrack, ‘fabled them’. Their racing names that were carved on various cups and slogans/brands are now faded. In the third stanza the flashback continues. Larkin’s imagination pictures the......

Words: 942 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Ted Hughes

...Analysis of ted hughes poetry, and his life work. Along with sylvia plath's The Issues that Happened behind Poetries in Contemporary Era In this scientific work, I want to analyze four poems in the contemporary era. The works are: The seven sorrows condensed from Ted Hughes, at grass by Philip Larkin, September 1913 and the stolen child by William Butler Yeats. The four poetries that appeared in the 20th Century, From the beginning of 20th Century like William Butler Yeats till the middle of 20th Century like Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin. As we know that William Butler Yeats’s poetries existed in the First World War at that time, poets did a lot of experiments in writing their literary works. They concentrated more on technique in writing their literary works. Meanwhile, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes created poem the World War II, whereas nowadays, poets, do not focus on confusing technique but more at content and meaning that is easier to be understood by the readers. Now, I want to analyze symbol in the poem related with the issue that happens to the real fact or the real situation at that time. Now, I want to analyze a poem titled “The Seven Sorrows” written by Ted Hughes. We can see from the first stanza namely, the word “autumn”, this word symbolizes sadness, probably sadness that is felt by the writer. In that stanza, I found a phrase “a brown poppy head”. This phrase symbolizes something that long drawn out that has not disappointed......

Words: 6251 - Pages: 26

Free Essay

Women

...sketches of the wider background give vitality to her portrayals of well-to-do family life in commuter land. Some of her later novels are In a Summer Season (1961), and The Wedding Group (1968.) Elizabeth Taylor has humour and compassion as well as disciplined artistry, and has logically been compared with Jane Austen. So has Barbara Pym (1913-1980) who tasted fame, sadly enough, only at the end of her life (her real name was Mary Crampton). Another restrained and perceptive artist, she is a master of J f ingenuous and candid dialogue and reflection which are resonant with comic overtones. Critics I called her "modern Jane Austin. Excellent Women (1952) and A Glass of Blessings (1958) were reprinted in the late 1970s when Philip Larkin and David Cecil drew attention to the quality of her neglected work. Later novels, The Sweet Dove Died (1978) and Quartet in Autumn (1978), are no less engaging in their blend of pathos and comedy. One might well put beside these two English writers the Irish writer Mary Lavin (1912-1996), whose short stories focus on the ups and downs of family life with quiet pathos and humour. Her novels, The House in Clewes Street (1945) and Mary O'Grady (1950), are family histories presented with psychological sensitivity and a delicious vein of irony. The public domain intrudes more into the work of Olivia Manning (1917-1980) who found herself, with her husband, in Bucharest in 1939, to be driven by German advances first to Greece, then......

Words: 4940 - Pages: 20

Premium Essay

"A Study of Reading Habits" Poetry Analysis

...Habits” by Philip Larkin “A Study of Reading Habits,” by Phillip Larkin is a short poem about a male character that goes through the three main stages of life and reads specific books during these times. The narrator experiences life first as a child, then a teenager, and finally an adult. The books he chooses to read express how he has changed during each stage. The author’s use of symbolism, irony, and imagery help to convey the theme that ignoring reality only makes life harder to deal with. “When getting my nose in a book/Cured most things short of school” (Larkin). In the first stanza Larkin describes a boy who uses books as a way to escape reality so that he does not have to face the harshness of life. In lines 5-6, the author uses symbolism. “deal out the old right hook/ to dirty dogs twice my size” (Larkin). It represents the speaker’s imagination while reading books. It shows that he is still a child. “The alliteration of ‘dirty dogs’ is symbolism of the persona’s bullies” (Sophtaytay). The speaker is using books to imagine beating those who bully him in the real world. “No man who was a professional librarian throughout his life… would make the statement that concludes the poem: "Books are a load of crap."” (Wood). It is ironic that an author would refer to books as “crap.” This shows that Larkin is not the speaker. It also shows how dramatically the speaker has changed his opinion of books throughout his life. “It was worth ruining my eyes” (Larkin). While......

Words: 541 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Do Dickinson and Larkin Both Portray Their Opinions on Marriage?

...Explore the ways in which Dickinson and Larkin express their views of marriage. Both poets show their firm negative view on their opinions of love and marriage, though they both represent it in alternative ways. Phillip Larkin with his omniscient perspective on the lives of others and the belief that marriage is a façade for both parties involved, compared to Emily Dickinson’s believing that marriage is a force which restricts a woman. Larkin explores marriage with negative connotations in ‘An Arundel Tomb’ and ‘Self’s the Man’. In ‘An Arundel Tomb’ he portray the assumptions that people make of the Earl and Countess’s marriage and the reality of the lack of love within it. He does the same in ‘Self’s the Man’ with the apparent pressures put on men to support a women and reveal his sexist view of women though the explicit showing of woman mindlessly taking advantage of men. Similar to Larkin, Emily Dickinson expresses her negative opinion on marriage in ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’ and ‘She Rose to His Requirement’, expressing a woman’s loss of identity once married and the liabilities it causes. In ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’ (712) she inexplicitly create a link between death and marriage through the thought of a woman’s previous lifestyle dying to make marriage the first and only priority. In ‘She Rose to His Requirement’ (732) Dickinson create a contrast with the connotations of marriage, on the outside, it seems like something to pride oneself in......

Words: 2513 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Larkin’s Poetry Can Be Dark, Amusing, Cynical or Deeply Reflective, All Communicated in a Distinctive Voice. Explore Those Features of Style That Gives Larkin’s Poetry Its Distinctive Voice.

...Larkin’s poetry can be dark, amusing, cynical or deeply reflective, all communicated in a distinctive voice. Explore those features of style that gives Larkin’s poetry its distinctive voice. Larkin’s style is an incongruent blend of formal structure and ordinary colloquial diction which often includes crude language and sardonic humour. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Larkin distinctively communicates his rather fatalistic but at the same time amusing views of life. Larkin’s style is a ‘piquant mixture of lyricism and discontent[Footnote]’. Philip Larkin approaches profound topics such as religion, death and the restrictions of society from a peculiar angle and employs his trademark style of transparent expression, humorous and coarse diction which gives him his distinctive voice. ‘Highly-structured but flexible verse forms[Footnote]’ is the best representation of the Larkin’s use of structure in his poem ‘Church Going’. It is evident that the poem has a rhyme scheme of ABABCDECE and uses iambic pentameter. The rhymes are soft and regular (‘silence/reverence’) except for the addition of a non-rhyming line which breaks the sequence. This creates a sense of ambivalence towards religion: he is both attracted to and uncertain about it. In the second stanza, he bluntly tells us that the church ‘was not worth stopping for’ and that he hears the ‘echoes snigger briefly ’after reading a passage from a Bible. However, later on in a more poetic voice he......

Words: 1579 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Larkin and Plath

...Alita Fonseca Balbi “The Less Deceived”: Subjectivity, Gender, Sex and Love in Sylvia Plath's and Philip Larkin's Poetry Belo Horizonte Faculdade de Letras Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais 2012 i “The Less Deceived”: Subjectivity, Gender, Sex and Love in Sylvia Plath's and Philip Larkin's Poetry by Alita Fonseca Balbi Submitted to the Programa de Pós-graduação em Letras: Estudos Literários in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mestre em Literaturas de Expressão Inglesa. Thesis Advisor: Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida, PhD Belo Horizonte Faculdade de Letras Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais 2012 ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS To my father, Tadeu, for always reminding me of the importance of having dreams and being true to them; for motivating me to be creative and to believe in my potential; and for teaching me to seek beauty and happiness in everything I see and do. To my mother, Socorro, for always making sure I enjoy all the possibilities that cross my path, and for reminding me that hard work is the only means to achieve my goals. To my brothers, Bruno and Diego, for being my best friends. To my sister-in-law, Sabrina, for embracing me as family and making me feel at home even when I’m not. To Paulo, for his company, for his love and care, and for all his witty remarks. To the professors of Letras, Julio Jeha, José dos Santos, Eliana Lourenço and Gláucia Renates, for being extraordinary professors, and for all the knowledge......

Words: 44492 - Pages: 178

Free Essay

Hull Uk City of Culture

...people who are from different countries. This is the reason why Hull has a large number of museums and theaters that were used to enjoy the pleasure. Some famous actors and writers having been born and lived in Hull make the city have a strong theatrical tradition. So, it is no doubt that Hull contains a wide range of cultural activities. The city has two theaters. Hull new theaters are older than the hull truck theatre. These theaters will provide many activities when the city of culture is coming, which include musicals, opera, ballet, drama, children’s shows and pantomime. Hull also was called “the most poetic in England” because Philip Larkin who is a renowned poet and set many of his poems in Hull. This is a best way to attract those people who like poems and the city also will exhibit the celebrated production that was written by Philip Larkin. These productions include” the Whitsun Weddings”, “Toads” and so on. BBC(2013)reported that he city's plans for...

Words: 1351 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Tfhufn Vgnjbn Fudrfvnj

...father and his son or a couple at the start of a romantic love affair. When studying this cluster, it might be useful for students to focus on some of the following considerations: • What form of relationship is the focus of this poem? Is it a romantic or familial relationship? Is the poet drawing attention to any universal experiences as they portray this relationship in particular? • From whose perspective is the poem written? Is it first, second or third person address, and how does this affect meaning? Who does the poem address? Or is it about, rather than directed to, someone? Does the form of communication affect the meaning? Is the poet speaking directly, or does the poet use a persona to communicate their ideas? • Consider the mood / tone of the poem. Is it light-hearted or serious in tone? Is it making a serious point in a light-hearted way and, if so, why might that be? • Why has the poet written this poem? What feelings, attitudes and/or ideas is the poet considering through their presentation of these relationships? • How has the poet communicated their ideas? What aspects of language, structure and/or form are particularly significant in this poem? What literary techniques is the poet using to...

Words: 14603 - Pages: 59

Free Essay

Philip Larkin's Church Going

...Philip Larking has a poem called Church Going written in an iambic pentameter consisting of seven stanzas, each including nine lines, of which the language is typical of Larkin - ordinary, conversational, and almost slangy. It talks about the relationship among people, religion and church. In this essay, I want to discuss the speaker's attitude toward religion and evaluate the poem, stanza by stanza. The poem explains the way how these relationships have become hackneyed to great extent, say, people do go to church without even pondering upon the reason to do so. In the first stanza, the speaker explains how cliché the entering to the church is and in the second stanza, he moves forward and emphasizes the condition of the roof and he believes that it is not worth stopping, and in the third stanza he questions the habit of church going, that is to say, the whole poem is trying to find the meaning of religion and in this way each stanza plays its proper role. In the first stanza we see a phrase "another church" which exposes that this church is like other churches: the same seats, the same structure, he wants to say that all of the churches have the same inspiration for him, explaining the atmosphere of the church by mentioning to the books and the unignorable silence that covers the church, say, he again enters to another church and he does not does not possess any feeling toward it. In the second stanza, he moves forward and refers to the roof where there......

Words: 1110 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Poetry Techniques

...Approaching the Work Anthology How to compare the poems Meerkat Poetry Meerkat Poetry In section B of your AS exam, you will be asked to write one essay about the poems in the Work anthology. You will be given a choice of two questions. You can compare and contrast at least two poems of your choice, in response to a statement: OR You can compare one named poem and one other of your choice, in response to a statement: All the poems that you choose must come from the Work section of the anthology, which you have studied. How will my response be marked? Your response will be marked for three assessment objectives: AO1: 15 marks: AO2 – 5 marks: AO3 - 20 marks: TASK 1: Understanding how to compare Look carefully at the mark scheme for AO3. In addition to what is noted above, it always states: “In order to meet the AO3 requirement, effective comparison and contrast will need to be demonstrated.” Answer the following questions. 1. How are you asked to show similarities between the poems? 2. How are you asked to show differences? 3. What is meant by “literary” – what might you refer to in a literary response? Sample question with its indicative content from the mark scheme: For 5a: Compare all the way through, all your points should lead to exploring a similarity of a difference Compare all the way through, all your points should lead to exploring a similarity of a difference It’s OK to disagree with the statement in the question It’s OK to disagree with the statement......

Words: 9003 - Pages: 37

Premium Essay

Peaceful End of Life

...Justin Sicheri 3/18/12 1 LOTF Poetry Project Poem excerpt | Insight | LOTF Excerpt | “The single clenched fist lifted and ready. Or the open asking hand out and waiting.Choose:For we meet by one or the other.” –“choose” by Carl Sandburg | In the same way that the poem “choose” is saying that the person must choose to be with or against but either way they will meet, So Jack on the island makes the boys choose between joining a tribe that is only concerned about being rescued and a fire or choose the tribe that is concerned about staying alive and hunting and protection. | “I’m going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too.” He blundered out of the triangle toward the drop to the white sand.” (127) | Poem excerpt | Insight | LOTF Excerpt | “From the thunder, and the storm- And the cloud that took the form(When the rest of heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view-“ “alone” Edgar Allan Poe | In the same way the poem says that when the rest of the heaven was blue, there was a demon in their view, so its saying that when everything else is okay there is danger right in front of you. In LOTF it shows the confrontation of the beast and the boys, so its saying that when they are stuck on the island with the beast everybody else around the world is doesn’t even know it’s happening. | “In front of them, only three or four yards away, was a rock-like hump where no rock should be. Ralph could hear a tiny chattering noise coming...

Words: 628 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Key Poems Aqa as

...Volunteer - Celebrates a city clerk whose dreams of military glory have been fulfilled. His death in battle is rewarded with a place alongside the heroes of the Battle of Agincourt. Julian Grenfell: Into Battle - Celebrates spring and moves on to describe the validity of the warrior, whose sacrifice will be rewarded. Nature and the solider are at one and this gives him peace and a sense of destiny. John McCrae: In Flanders Fields - The dead, lying beneath ground covered with poppies, urge the living to continue the struggle against the enemy. Charles Sorley: All the Hills and Vales Along - Addressing men marching past, the poet urges them to sing while they have life. The earth will welcome them in death just as it has welcomed everyone else who has passed by. Charles Sorley: When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead - The poet tells the reader not to be deceived about the dead. Their existence is so far removed from ours that it does not matter what we think or say of them. A. E. Housman: Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries -...

Words: 1545 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Pride and Prejudice

...MEG-1,2,3 & 4 Master’s Degree Programme in English (MEG) ASSIGNMENT (For July 2015 and January 2016 Sessions) Compulsory Courses of M.A. English – 1st Year) British Poetry-01 British Drama-02 British Novel-03 Aspects of Language-04 School of Humanities Indira Gandhi National Open University Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110 068 1 Master’s Degree in English Assignments for 1st year Compulsory Courses Course Code: MEG Dear Student, This booklet contains all the assignments of the Compulsory Courses of MA (English) 1st year namely: MEG-01 MEG-02 MEG-03 MEG-04 British Poetry British Drama British Novel Aspects of Language Each course will comprise one assignment of 100 marks. This assignment will be tutor marked. Aims: The TMAs are concerned mainly with assessing your application and understanding of the course material. You are not required to reproduce chunks of information from the course material but to use the skills of critical appreciation that you may have acquired during the course of study. These assignments aim to teach as well as to assess your performance. Please ensure that you read the texts and the accompanying study guides that we have prepared for you. Let me repeat: you must read all the texts prescribed. Do make points as you go along. If there is anything you do not understand, please ask your Counsellor at the Study Centre for clarification. Once you are able to do the assignments satisfactorily, you will be ready...

Words: 1270 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Meg English

...MEG-1,2,3 & 4 Master’s Degree Programme in English (MEG) ASSIGNMENT (For July 2015 and January 2016 Sessions) Compulsory Courses of M.A. English – 1st Year) British Poetry-01 British Drama-02 British Novel-03 Aspects of Language-04 School of Humanities Indira Gandhi National Open University Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110 068 1 Master’s Degree in English Assignments for 1st year Compulsory Courses Course Code: MEG Dear Student, This booklet contains all the assignments of the Compulsory Courses of MA (English) 1st year namely: MEG-01 MEG-02 MEG-03 MEG-04 British Poetry British Drama British Novel Aspects of Language Each course will comprise one assignment of 100 marks. This assignment will be tutor marked. Aims: The TMAs are concerned mainly with assessing your application and understanding of the course material. You are not required to reproduce chunks of information from the course material but to use the skills of critical appreciation that you may have acquired during the course of study. These assignments aim to teach as well as to assess your performance. Please ensure that you read the texts and the accompanying study guides that we have prepared for you. Let me repeat: you must read all the texts prescribed. Do make points as you go along. If there is anything you do not understand, please ask your Counsellor at the Study Centre for clarification. Once you are able to do the assignments satisfactorily, you will be ready...

Words: 1270 - Pages: 6