Larkin Poems



  • Poem about place, Hull
  • Themes: Loneliness, journeys, nature, critical of masses-people (lower class), meocony tone- peasamiestic tone
  • About train journey from London to Hull
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Mr Bleaney

  • sense of place
  • speaker of powem is moving in the room
  • the person showing him around is the women
  • About previous occupoer who died
  • 4 lines in stanza called Quatrain
  • relates to Larkin- isolated, dull and no relations like him (solutary figure)
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Love Songs in Age

  • About a women who finds music records when she was young girl
  • About memories and looking back into the past
  • About thinking that the good things are going to happen but in the future you just get disappointed with life
  • Ideal vs Reality
  • About how she used to think about love
  • Nostalgic- longing of the past, Remembering the good times
  • She never found love/ Love didn't do these things for her as she is a widow now- suggestion of her love not being like this even though she was married- she missed out
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Toads Revisited

  • Poem about people not working and how Larkin felt about these people
  • He saw these people in the park at Hull from his falt- Pearson Park
  • Thinks of them in a negative way
  • Represented- fear of being them and how they are, doesn't want a meaningless life
  • Larkin has a fear of a meaningless life, self doubt (Self to man)
  • Very simple language talking about simple people- lower class
  • Images of time passing
  • Rhyme Scheme stands out- A,A,B,B- to emphaisis his point that its not for him and he is not like that
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Self's the Man

  • Title- Being selfish is a good thing
  • Persona in character of Arnold is differnet from Larkin- marriage and children
  • Misogenistic- Anti-women and sterotypical and negative view of women
  • Cant hear the rhyme scheme all the way through becuase of the hidden enjabment which could show he is not happy with this life
  • Quatrain- 4 line stanza
  • Both are selfish but Larkin knows how much he can take unlike Arnold who can't
  • Not really poetic language- shows *** simple Arnold's life is
  • Materialistic
  • Themes: Misogenistic (Sunny Prestatin & Wild Oats), Loneliness (Mr Bleany) and Ideal vs Reality
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MCMXIV (1914)

  • Poem is a full sentence- like he is showing old photographs
  • Roman numerals- makes poem feel old- antique
  • Nostalgic poem- Something from the past
  • Critical of modern society and saying mankind reason of war
  • Strong rhyme to week showing something is getting lost- men at war and the innocence is lost
  • Themes: Death- Litteral soldiers and metorphorical innocence, Loss of innocence and shift of values
  • Stanza 2 images of past
  • Stanza 3 More rural scene
  • One fullstop to emphasis the end
  • End of poem and end of innocence
  • Similar to Love songs in Age- how in both how nostalgic the past was
  • Similar to Mr Bleany- Death
  • Links to Abse: Cousin Sidney, My cousin the soldier, Terrible Angels and Two photographs- relate to theme of war
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Talking in Bed

  • About relationship with Monica Jones- she moved in with him and was an on going affair in his life
  • Poem about being physically close but being emotionally apart from each other- unusuall for Larkin as he is not usually emotional he is critical
  • 4 Stanzas, 3 Lines
  • Polgnant Poem- sad
  • Enjaberment- suggesting on going situation
  • Ideal vs Reality
  • Rhyme is not proper- like trying to speak but cannot
  • Emotionally tense for Larkin
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Sunny Prestatyn

  • Poem about disullusionment- links with Love songs in age
  • Ironic title- using it through a poster in Prestatyn- Wales it rains a lot- ironic as title says sunny
  • Place in Wales
  • Misogestic view of women- nothing positive about them
  • Larkin Pesimestic view of life
  • Stanza 2- Phallic imagery
  • Ideal vs Reality
  • Replaced by another poster for cancer- Larkin terrified of death especially cancer- the he got it at the end
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Wild Oats

  • When Larkin in his 20s- Poem about Ruth Bawkan his girlfriend for 7 years
  • Title- Euphemism: phrases that means something else- sowing wild oats means sleeping with other women before marriage- ironic title as Larkin didn't sleep with Jane
  • Women seen as objects- sexual side (Sunny Prestatyn)
  • 8 line Stanzas- Octave
  • Contrast of 2 girls- Jane and Ruth
  • Very honest poem- like he is confessing something
  • Ideal vs Reality
  • Reflecting on past events
  • Enjaberment - show 7 year relationship
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Essential Beauty

  • Poem about advertising in the early 60s
  • Title: what we are told in advertisment arn't always essential- ironic
  • Describes advertisments that disrupt our realistic life
  • Criticism towards content of adverts
  • Illusion of them is emphasised
  • Ideal vs Reality
  • 16 Line stanzas
  • Stanza 2 images of illusion are destroyed
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  • About time passing- using seasons as metaphor of passing of time
  • Larkin is the observer- doesn't want this life
  • Free verse rhyme becuase to show thier lives are empty
  • Title: not really important time of day
  • Common theme: disillusionment of life
  • Themes: Time, Death, Gender, Meaningless of life, Ideal vs Reality (Sunny Prestatyn, Love Songs of Age) and Self's the Man- observing other peoples lives
  • Enjamberment shows cycle of life- time moved on
  • He feels sorry for them and their life
  • Sterotypical view of young mothers and lower/middle class people
  • Routine lives- now the adults run around the children
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An Arundel Tomb

  • Monument in Chichester Cathedral
  • Stone effigy ( statue on top of grave) is of Richard Fitzalan (10th Earl of Arundel, died in 1376) and second wife Earlornor also died
  • Ideal vs Reality (Love songs in age, Sunny Prestatyn, Wild Oats)
  • Misinterpretation in the meaning
  • Time passing
  • Modern society doesn't understand higher/powerful roles- time era has gone
  • Thye didn't have it done for internal love only made it so that friends could see it- they wanted something commised after they died
  • At the end its almost the mocking of the hand of love- thinks its a sentimental poem but its not
  • An illusion- doesn't belive in it- doesn't belive in immortality- you just die
  • Thye didn't intend to become a monument of internal love
  • Constant Rhyme Scheme- A,B,B,C,A,C
  • Larkin explains how people are differnet from back then- he likes the older type of society- negative attitude towards change and modern society
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