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Slide 1

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Born Yesterday
Philip Larkin…read more

Slide 2

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· Coventry 1922
· Oxford University
· Librarian ­ 2 novels & 6 Anthologies
· Didn't want media's attention ­ declined Poet
Laureate 1984
· Written for Kingley Amis's daughter, Sally
Amis…read more

Slide 3

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· Larkin offers Sally a welcome into the world and outlines
what he hopes will become her attributes.
· Speaker: poet himself (1st person)
· Addressed to Sally Amis
· What is being spoken about? : the future of the baby
· Theme(s)
­ Love, birth, hope, nature of happiness, children
­ What truly makes us happy: spiritual/material? Fame, fortune &
beauty = happiness? Does nature and definition happiness mean
person will live short life?
· Ending of poem: Larkin mentioned to gain joy & delight she
needs to be "dull", wants her to catch the state of
happiness = enjoy life…read more

Slide 4

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· Rhyme: 1 rhyming couplet = feeling of blessing sums it up,
stands out & contrast conversional tone of poem like the
Volta in Shakespearean = message & "bud" & "would"=
impression of formal speech at beginning
· Rhythm: free verse lack of rhythm puts emphasis on
· Stanzas: 2
· Lines: 10 line and 14 line
· Enjambment:
· End stopping: not specifically short direct lines
· Form: tight structure ­ short & long
· 2nd Stanza = sonnet like = indirect love, not romantic love =
not high expectation as sonnets are high expected &
perfect end of sonnet/life = happiness possible for Sally of
just lets it happen by itself…read more

Slide 5

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· Overall: sentimental tone
· Partially: conversational, suggesting a close,
friendly relationship between the speaker and
subject. The frequent use of pronouns such as
""I"" and ""you"", as well as line openings
""Well,"" and ""In fact,"", bring an informal,
honest tone.
· Mocking tone, resentment: "they will all wish
you that"…read more

Slide 6

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The Title "Born Yesterday"
· Pun: play on words = different meaning
· Literally written day after Sally born
· Symbolic baby knows nothing ­ saying ` I was not born
· often said when someone tries to trick you.
· links to the poem as Larkin doesn't want Sally to be
blinded by naive good fortune and talents by
perceiving them as true happiness. Instead he wants
her to be "vigilant", careful with her actions. Making
her a level headed mature women when she grows up.…read more

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