Notes On Larkin And Abse
Arguably this poem is not simply a misogynistic view on woman however is in fact a satirical poem which mocks modernity through quantifying love as expressed in the use of the line ‘gave a ten Guinea-ring’. Larkin was a well known hater of the modern world and to an extent the romanticised idea of ‘love’ as seen in ‘Self’s the man’ and ‘Mr Bleaney’, so through the use of the conversationalist tone that the persona of the poem creates the reader is presented with the concept of this poem either expressing Larkin’s flippantly misogynistic attitude toward women, (through derogatory language ‘bosomy Rose’) or his cynical satirical view of the modern day ideals of love. The fur gloves symbolize concealment, remoteness, barriers to intimacy, and perhaps a touch of risque eroticism too.
The lucky charms reference conveys a sense that it was fortunate the relationship with bosomy rose never developed, perhaps. I revel in Larkins ambiguities. We think this has misogynistic attitudes as he objectifies women and referes to them only by their physical features. He also reduces her to her \”fur gloves\”. Mann this is a bad poem, a story of two hookers in my opinion. • Both wild oats and Dockery and son have a persona which appears inferior. • Wild oats says that the choices you make in life have less to do with personal disposition or want, more to do with what you are allowed to do within your social structure.
The persona in wild oats doesn’t seem to be in the same social group as the ‘bosomy English rose’ and even though he would rather speak to her, he is forced to speak to the girl in ‘specs’, this is emphasised with the worlds ‘ I could…’ which suggests that he was unable to speak to the other girl. He could also be saying at this point that your appearance may change who you are allowed to do, or who you can talk to. Social bias? • Hard ‘S’ and ‘C’ sounds create a sense of deflation. • The word ‘But’ again creates deflation and a sense of regret. Is he saying here that our lack of confidence limits our decisions?
‘so I thought’ – shows a that the speaker doubts his past decisions which were based on a lack of confidence. • However, he did write over 400 letters to the supposedly ugly girl and even though the relationship didn’t work maybe he is saying here that even if you don’t like the decisions you make at the time, it might work out for the best. There is even a possibility of marriage as a ring is mentioned, but that’s all the marriage reference in the poem. • The last line ‘unlucky charms, perhaps’ may suggest that there is a sense of mysticism guiding our lives.
Can charms effect what happens in our lives!? • ‘Agreement … I was too selfish, withdraw and easily bored to love’ again shows a lack of self-confidence, the persona has agreed that he is the one at fault. Does a lack of self-belief ruin things as well? • Playing it safe … the persona goes with the person that he is less intimidated by! • More sense of fate, the girls me to where he worked, so he didn’t seek them out, they came to him. I think that he shouldn\’t bang the tidy bird in the cathedral cities as it\’s not very religious purley a god like man, Philip Larkin is a literacy genius.
.: Wild Oats :. Wild Oats by Philip Larkin explains that a person, over the course of time, comes to realize that his greatest desires are unattainable, and second best things will have to suffice. The central purpose of this poem is to show that love is one of these great desires and despite flashes of promise it contains scarcely anything that is more than fragmentary. Through tone, diction, and irony, Larkin reveals the terrible human hopes and cold realities that which love inspires. The Encarta Dictionary defines the word rose as a prickly bush with ornamental flowers.
In thinking about roses one pictures its gorgeous petals and often forgets about the prickly stem on which it sits. This word is used in both, the first and third stanzas, to depict the beautiful woman who the narrator falls in love with. Her beautiful face and body allure him into affection, leading him to overlook her harsh thorns. Ironically rose also means favourable, comfortable, or easy circumstances a definition that is the complete opposite of what the unattainable lover instigates in the narrator’s life. The speaker also uses
words such as cathedral, ring, and clergy in the second stanza, to implicitly state (does not explicitly state for he is ashamed) that he proposes to the beautiful lover, and is denied many times. In the third stanza, Larkins creative use of the word snaps in describing the pictures of his lover he carries around. Instead of simply calling them pictures or photographs, he substitutes a word that resembles what the woman in the picture did to his heart! In the last lines of the first stanza the speaker ends with But it was the friend I took out.
Considering he rambles on about how beautiful and great her friend it is confusing and ironic that he chooses the girl in specs. The speaker continues on in the second stanza and says I believe I met beautiful twice. The uncertainty of how many times he met her is not genuine and is only meant to look like he does not consider or remember how many times they met, when realistically it is all he cares about. In the third stanza the speaker states, Well, useful to get that learnt. This is attempt by the speaker to alleviate the cold reality of the complete loss of his desire in trying to say that he learned a valuable lesson about love.
However, this is contradictory because he settled for the girl in specs as a result of knowing that the beautiful girl was unattainable from the beginning. .: Philip Larkin :. Philip Larkin: Bracing Rather Than Depressing Philip Larkin was born August 9, 1922 in Coventry, an industrial city in central England. He was the second son of Sydney Larkin, the city treasurer. He attended King Henry VIII School and then went on to study at St. Johns College in Oxford, where he began to appreciate and explore poetry.
Larkin grew up in an era marked by severe economic depression followed by World War II. The Encycolpedia of World Biography portrays the memories of Larkins youth as sensitive and introspective, full of loneliness and passivity. These feelings of destitution are reflected in his poems. Although it was nearly impossible for anyone to catch a break during this time period, Larkin was blessed with terrible eyesight, resulting in exemption from the military (206). While the war was still in progress Larkin graduated from St. Johns College in Oxford in 1943 (206).
Soon after graduating, Larkin embodied a counteraction to the wartime poetry which he saw as emotionally overblown and technically sloppy (207). Larkin not only had to revolutionize the poems but the way the readers experienced the poem as well. In her article First Boredom, Then Fear: The Life of Philip Larkin Felicity Walsh explains that Larkin lived in a culture that expected people to live private lives and have private thoughts. Larkin published a series of poems hoping to build a reputation for himself, but they went unnoticed. However, his streak of bad luck soon came to an end.
According to the anthology Poetry Speaks, the publication of Larkins 1955 volume of The Less Decieved marked one of the most remarkable turnarounds in literary history and instantly established him as the leading poet of a new generation of voices, a group that would come to be known as The Movement (262). This group of poets mastered the technique of building strong, unique poems out of the everyday details of life, and Larkin, largely influenced by the poetry of Thomas Hardy, proved himself a master of this style. In postwar Britain, Larkins starkly and candid lines sparked recognition among a disenchanted generation (139).
British Writers states that life, for Larkin and, implicitly, for all of us, is something lived mundanely, with a gradually accumulating certainty that its golden prizes are sheer illusion, that second best things will have to suffice (275). In his article Philip Larkin, W. S. Di Piero affirms Larkins great subject is romanticism gone sour- in nature, household, and heart. His poems tell us that while were born dreamers, we must know our limits and curb unreasonable aspiration, even though we are enticed by its appeal (45). Larkin addresses the sad facts of life: the difficulty, and the loneliness that often proceeds.
Yes in facing these bleak prospects squarely, Larkin manages to be bracing rather than depressing (139). It is interesting that his poems about how rewards and goals in life are deceptions would in turn fulfill his own ambitions. Philip Larkin, the acclaimed British poet, received many awards that include honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the CBE, and the German Shakespeare-Preis. He was Chairman of the Booker Prize Panel, was made a member of the Companion of Literature, and served on the Literature Panel of the Arts Council.
What lead to such achievement? He filled his works with appropriate, disconcerting humor, mastered the use of diction and imagery, and incorporated his own Philip Larkin portrays a theme of loneliness in the poem ‘Mr. Bleaney’. Not only does the story within the poem suggest a feeling of solitude and emptiness, Larkin also deliberately uses language and techniques to emphasise the theme he’s going for. First of all, the title itself is of a person who’s first name we do not know. It creates a sense that it is irrelevant and that ‘Mr.
Bleaney’ isn’t of much importance. The lack of strong syllables in the title makes it sound monotonous giving the impression of boredom, of a life lacking excitement. The poem, throughout, is a big metaphor of Mr. Bleaney’s life. The way the room is described doesn’t really make an impression and shows how rough and lonely it must have been to live there. For example, Larkin uses the words ‘littered’ and ‘upright’. Also he talks about a ‘sixty-watt bulb’, which states how his surroundings weren’t very bright, like how his life must have had little inspiration.
Larkin reinforces this by describing a repetitive habit of Mr. Bleaney visiting the same family members every year. ‘The Frinton folk put him up for summer holidays’ – the poet gives the feeling that Mr. Bleaney wasn’t really wanted there and that they’re just putting up with him. It suggests that they are most probably forced to look after him, out of pity maybe. Along with the lack of excitement in his life, Larkin also portrays Mr. Bleaney as very reliant on the people around him. The quote ‘they moved him’ not only symbolises death and hints that Mr.
Bleaney has passed away but also that he was unable to make decisions for himself. ‘One hired box’ evokes the images of a coffin, again leading the reader to think that Mr. Bleaney has indeed passed away. Prior to this, Larkin describes the room’s curtains as ‘thin and frayed’, which could be a metaphor of Mr. Bleaney’s past condition and it could be argued that he died of some sort of illness. The use of two characters, being the landlord and the buyer of the old room, ensures that the poem is based on reality. The pessimistic view of the assumed buyer shows lack of pride.
The quote ‘I lie where Mr. Bleaney lay’ suggests that even though his presumptions of what the man’s life must have been like aren’t very assuring, his is no different either. He is in the same position. He also has to rent that shabby room like Mr. Bleaney did, showing that he isn’t rich enough to own a place of his own too. He is also presumably alone in renting that room, suggesting that he doesn’t have many friends either. The enjambaments used to carry sentences on symbolises the pointless existence of Mr. Bleaney, having to continue living a dull and tedious life.
The lack of obvious similes and metaphors again suggests boredom and lack of inspiration. In the last phrase, the buyer says ‘I don’t know’, which states how even though he can deduce this man’s life by how he used to live and what he’s got to show of his previous existence (‘that how we live measures our own nature’), he still cannot be sure exactly who he was and what he was like when he was alive. I personally think that Larkin had a hidden message between the lines of this poem, which is not to judge anyone when you know very little about them
In Philip Larkin’s collection, ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ and Dannie Abse’s collection ‘Welsh Retrospective’, both poets create a sense of place as they write about their own environments. Larkin uses a more detached observation as he uses a third person viewpoint, seen in ‘Here’ and ‘The Whitsun Weddings’, where he shows the journey of life. This differs to Abse, who presents a personal connection with the place and in the poems ‘Last Visit to 198 Cathedral Road’ and ‘Return to Cardiff’; Abse uses these places to evoke memories.