Larkin poetry

  • Created by: ellend49
  • Created on: 14-05-17 14:11

The whitsun weddings

  • early 1955 pentecostal reference
  • I was late- personal first stanza and larkins observations on a train journey
  • all types of life are present- cinematic
  • industrial froth- consumption, a new era
  • and went on reading- Larkin as the outsider
  • irresolutely- parodies of fashion, awkward and he is detacthed
  • nylon gloves- tell us of the time
  • mothers loud and fat- larkins cynical tone towards women- sensory imagery - intices the reader
  • inference
  • secret like a happy funeral - loosing a child to marriage
  • virgins
  • Larkins attitude towards marriage- many lovers, no marrriages
  • ordinary way of life, a commitment             arrow shower- cupids or death?
  • becoming rain- used to be sunny- a negativity surrounded the event he has just witnessed
  • only thing he shares with these people are london
  • context- larkins agnostic tendencies, monica jones and marriage, his mother and father. 
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Talking in Bed

  • ought to be- what love should be like
  • Lying- could mean literally lying to each other- pain of lobve
  • emblem of two people- symbolic. Together forever. 
  • time passes unnoticely for older couples, they are wishing their lives away. 
  • dark towns- and nature- incomplete unrested wind- nature contrasted with people- lying quietly but the world moves on always
  • nature will not wait for a couple who are falling out of love with eachother
  • horizoon- associated with affinity, knowledge and wisdom
  • isolation- together but so alone
  • us is personal- perhaps referring to one of his relationships- monica jones who he broke off an engagment with- she was still by his bedside when he died aged 63n a03
  • parodox of true and kind- we can say things that are untrue but not unkind, and things that are true but kind
  • declarative , reflective, heartfelt mood and tone
  • broken rhyme scheme portrays absence of continued love 
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Dockery and Son

Dockery is a year below larkin at oxford. 

  • death-suited, a funeral?
  • family business
  • these incidents last might- university antics
  • still half-tight= drunk
  • door where i used to live- locked, cannot go back to the past
  • canal and clouds and colleges, pessimistic alliteration
  • cartwright who was killed- died in WW2 reference
  • awful pie- larkins simplistic tone
  • parting lines- separates ways in life
  • unhindered mooon- nature remains the same for everyone- never changing
  • no son, no wife- things larkin does not mind not having
  • sarcastic tone in second last stanza
  • we- collective pronoun
  • 1950s- marriage is forced- conditioned by society - post-war society
  • we all die
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  • title celebrate sthe arrival of the dawn- light of day
  • title is ironic
  • A.N wilson- a song of the dawn reference
  • self-depricating humour- get half-drunk at nihgt
  • larkin wakes up at 4am and things about life
  • line nine has fewer syllables in each stanze- focuses on main subject
  • four stanzas focus on death and one focuses on our distractions from it
  • "the sky is white as clay" no sun = death
  • regular rhyme scheme but pentameter not used whole way- ordely life never in control
  • apprehnsive , reflective and humourous tones throughout
  • extinction- anstract noun used to shock reader- emptiness within our heads
  • repeated negatives2 "not"
  • religion used to try- a facade
  • Larkin does not have the religious faith that seems to comfort everyone else
  • created to pretend we never die- organised religion
  • personification of death AND stands plain as a wardrobe- ordinary things- postmen- life goes on
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High windows

britain- cultural shift in 1960s- birth control came out- he is 45 at this point

  • in first stanza, larkin recognises the change in this generation- women have more reproductive freedom
  • 1967 - larkin was working in university libarary, 
  • he's ******* her- assumptions from larkin
  • everyone old has dreamed of- they never had the same freedoms
  • half rhyme is used- 
  • outdated combine harvester- going down the long slide- envious attitude 
  • italics- suggest and separate what larkin was thinking about at this moment
  • hell and that- dismissive language
  • free bloody birds- no worries- larkin  was deeply anxious 
  • church going link 
  • sun comprehending glass- the truth nothing, noweher, endless, three negatives in a row. the unknown- believe larkin is unware of hat life has instore for him 
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The old fools

most likely about Larkins grandmother

  • cynical and critical of the elderly but many argue it is humourous
  • a list of questions
  • he does not know the answer- larkins poetry never does
  • shock effect for reader
  • at death you break up- startling and disrespectful to specfy this falling apart- dehumanising
  • million petalled flower of being here- life is fantastic with endless possibilities
  • you were once not in the world
  • reflecitve third stanza and intricate rhyme scheme and indentation
  • deep loss restored- memeory loss
  • you almost become a child again
  • where they live- suggesting it wil never happen to him- larkin feared death greatly
  • trying to be here- wishing they were young again
  • alp- top of the mountain- reached the destination - postive light
  • return to questions - we shall find out- universal - we all die 
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  • sun gives us all we need
  • as a lion- animalistic- we view it in different ways
  • usually nature gives a postive vibe to a poem 
  • how still you stand- personification 
  • single, stalkless flower- sibilance- soothing sibilance used
  • religious tone- as if the sun is our god
  • directly addresses the sun
  • gold- worthy
  • you exist openly - we treat it poorly - ozone  layer
  • an open hand for humans
  • you give forever- until we die - so signifigant
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The explosion

read out at the funeral of these men

very different from larkins usual anti- religious tone

  • mine disaster in 1969.metaphor as shadows
  • early in the day
  • saved the eggs- these men were kind and gentle
  • past tense
  • elegy
  • concludes with a single line set apart 
  • "God-s house in comfort" - unlike larkin
  • rumours that the wives had seen these men as ghosts
  • ominous tone and optimistic imagery of coin and sun- light
  • love and death themes
  • italics to separate voices
  • one showing the eggs unbroken- they did not deserve this 
  • tremour- explosion itself is understated to make sure it is not insensitive
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