Themes for Larkin and Abse Poetry

These cards cover poems for themes that may come up in the Larkin/Abse question on the WJEC board (themes that my teacher has given me so far for practice essays). As my class is still covering poems in both the Abse and Larkin collections I may have missed some out of certain themes, feel free to add some in the comments, also feel free to suggest a theme I haven't thought of, it will help enormously. Remember in the exam we are supposed to comment on at least two of Larkin's poems, so I suggest finding two from a list that you feel most comfortable relating to the theme (and comparing with Abse's writing) as your main focus and then perhaps small links from others. Also remember to read the question, sounds simple enough but they won't always word it the same. They may give you a statement and say "with this statement in mind, comment on how Larkin and Abse write about [...]". Good luck though!

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Poems dealing with Love and Relationships

Larkin:

  • Love Songs In Age
  • Broadcast
  • Self's The Man
  • Talking In Bed
  • Wild Oats
  • Afternoons

Abse:

  • Postcard To His Wife
  • Blond Boys
  • A Scene From Married Life
  • St. Valentine's Night 
  • Dafydd ap Gwilym at Llanbadarn
1 of 6

Poems dealing with Death

Larkin:

  • Mr Bleaney
  • An Arundel Tomb
  • Take One Home For The Kiddies
  • Nothing To Be Said
  • Days

 Abse:

  • The Death Of Aunt Alice
  • My Cousin The Soldier
  • Cousin Sidney
2 of 6

Poems dealing with Characters

Larkin:

  • Mr Bleaney
  • Self's The Man
  • Wild Oats
  • A Study Of Reading Habits
  • Love Songs In Age
  • Sunny Prestatyn

Abse:

  • The Death Of Aunt Alice
  • Uncle Isidore
  • Cousin Sidney
  • Altercation In Splott
  • A Figure of 8
  • Blond Boys
3 of 6

Poems dealing with Journeys

Larkin:

  • Here
  • The Whitsun Weddings
  • Naturally The Foundation Will Bear Your Expenses

Abse:

  • Leaving Cardiff
  • Down The M4
  • Return To Cardiff 
4 of 6

Poems dealing with Society

Larkin:

  • Here
  • Naturally The Foundation Will Bear Your Expenses
  • Toads Revisited
  • Water
  • The Whitsun Weddings
  • MCMXIV
  • Sunny Prestatyn
  • Dockery and Son
  • Afternoons
  • An Arundel Tomb
  • Mr Bleaney

Abse:

  • A Figure Of 8 
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Poems dealing with Time and its Passing

Larkin: 

  • Love Songs In Age
  • Naturally The Foundation Will Bear Your Expenses
  • Nothing To Be Said
  • Home Is So Sad
  • Toads Revisited
  • The Whitsun Weddings
  • Talking In Bed
  • A Study Of Reading Habits
  • As Bad As A Mile

Abse:

  • Progress
  • A Winter Visit
  • Return To Cardiff
  • Blond Boys
6 of 6

Comments

Beth Haworth

Good but misses some key poems (dockery and son for journeys, an arundel tomb for passing of time?) 

Poppy Heap

Illusion and Reality -Sunny prestatyn, Essential Beauty and welsh valley cinema, 1930s

Loneliness and failure - Dockery and son,mr bleaney, As bad a mile

Naomi Sturge

what other poems deal with society for Abse apart from a figure of 8? 

Ibrahim - Team GR

It's good. Really well thought out but could have written about how the themes link with the poems - Just a suggestion though 

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