The speaker describes the approach to and arrival at what we assume is the city of Hull, where Larkin lived and worked for many years. The speaker catalogues various aspects of the city which make it distinctive, highlighting its working class and maritime character. Beyond the city lies a rural hinterland, an unpopulated terrain which is markedly different from the bustle of the city which evokes from the speaker a deeper, more complex response than the urban environment.
The speaker is shown a room previously rented by a Mr Bleaney. Hearing some details of this person by the landlady, he goes on to imagine the life he lived, both at the house and beyond. It is a picture of constricted, joyless existence, one which, the speaker implies, reflects his own situation. For both, occupying the rented room is a judgement on the limited nature of their ambitions and achievements.
Nothing To Be Said.
All human beings, of whatever place on the earth or culture, are engaged in the proccess of dying. All human activites, however disparate in nature, lead to the same end - death. Some are not troubled by this thought, whilst for others, the consciousness of the inevitability of death is overwhelming.
Love Songs In Age.
A woman comes across examples of sheet music which she used to play in her younger days. The printed music and lyrics remind her of how it felt to be on the threshold of life, looking forward to and expecting much of romantic love, especially. Now, in widowhood, she is forced to admit to herself these hopes and expectations have not been fufilled and that it is now too late to try again.
Naturally The Foundations Will Bear Your Expenses.
The speaker, and academic, is on his way to a conference in India. He has been held up in traffic on his way to the airport and only when on the plane does he remember the ceremony to be held that day in London's Whitehall, the annual commemoration in November of the dead of the two world wars of the twentieth century. He dismissed this and such events as signs of England's immature clinging on to the tradition. He is glad to be leaving the country and looks forward to meeting his Indian conteact on arrival in India.
The speaker is listening to an orchestral concert being broadcast on the radio and thinking of his loved one who is attenting the event. As the concert progresses, he finds it increasingly difficult to retain his image of her in the hall, whilst he is suprised to find himself so moved by the music itself.
The poem describes a faith healing event during an American evangelist. Various middle aged women approach him and are spoken to individually by the faith healer for a short while. They then lapse into the background, but their facial expressions and posture indicate that many are undergoing some profound experience. The speaker suggests that this is esentially a releasing of pent up emotions and an expression of their deep need to be loved, rather than the result of any religious experience as such.
Home Is So Sad.
Home is personified as being saddened by the departure of those who have lived within its walls. The furniture and other domestic items remain as reminders of hopes and ambitions which have not been fufilled.