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Essay on the poetry of philip larkin

Support your answer with reference to both the themes and language found in the poetry of Philip Larkin on your course. His intricate analysis of ordinary uncovers many dimensions and perspectives to the recurrent themes in his poetry — death and the transience of time and love — in a thought-provoking manner.

Larkin creates lively, colourful images, which are in stark contrast the peace and laziness of the horses in the first stanza. The changing imagery creates an almost cinematic flashback, allowing me to easily identify the significant changes that these horses have undergone. The fourth stanza reverts to gentle, relaxed imagery that mirrors the first stanza. Larkin questions if the horses miss the fame and attention that they were subject to just twenty years previous?

Do they long to return to the activity and noise? They shake their heads. Larkin reminds his readers to accept the change that time brings; glory days will come and pass quickly.

AS and A Level: Philip Larkin

Through his use of common imagery and language, Larkin poses complex questions in an eloquent and intriguing manner. Larkin laments the passing of a way of life. The first stanza presents the image of men waiting to recruit at the beginning of the war. The war is so far removed from the country that they are barely aware of it taking place. The images created by Larkin here highlight the extent to which this world has vanished.

The currency has passed into history, the names of the children, the distinct class structures have been utterly transformed, and, as Larkin points out, transformed at an even greater pace because of WWI.

Larkin effectively uses the Great War, an international travesty, to relate to a large audience. This commentary would have easily manifested into the minds of all British families as virtually every village, town and family lost a their loved ones to the war. Larkin uses stunning images to capture the beauty of Britain and the grave changes that 1914 ultimately brought.

Again, he uses commonplace items and images in both of these works in order to express his message as effectively as possible. Larkin uses a wonderful oxymoron to illustrate that nothing can conquer the passage of time. I believe that Larkin longed for people to understand mortality and accept it as a definitive end. This poem is a meditation on the closeness of death, its randomness and its inevitability.

These three ideas are captured for Larkin in the action of ambulances in the city. The first stanza describes the physical appearance of the ambulance, which is instantly suggested of the theme of death.

The speaker creates an ambiguity around ambulances: In this short sentence, the arrival of the ambulance is conveyed as random and indiscriminate. I feel that the point Larkin was trying to stress here is that even in an ordinary place with everyday activities going on around us, death can strike unexpectedly. The onlookers, confronted by the image of the white, frightened face of the victim, do not really genuinely sympathise with this person.

Philip Larkin transforms the mundane into the marvellous. Although the language and imagery of his poetry are relatively simple, they are precise, mostly detached but always movingly lyrical. Larkin was able to transform any situation — an explosion, a statue, horses in a field — and wonderfully convey an honest and exquisite lesson about life to his readers. The marking scheme directed examiners to reward the following: Get full notes on Larkin: