Poetry response to “Aubade”
The poem I am responding to is “Aubade,” which is written by Philip Larkin. I looked up the definition of the word Aubade on dictionary.com, and it said that an Aubade is a song or poem of or about lovers separating at dawn. It is also defined as a song or instrumental composition concerning, accompanying, or evoking daybreak. Stanza One: The speaker hints that he is at home in his bed. “Waking at the four to soundless dark, I stare.” He wakes up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep. “In time the curtain edges will grow light.” The poem is written in first person, so I’m assuming that the author is the speaker as well, but I could be wrong. (For some reason, I am inclined to refer to the speaker as a “he.”) At this point, the man is lying in bed, pondering death, which is “A whole day nearer now.” The only thing he can focus on now is dying, “Making all thought impossible but how and where and when…” he will die. It seems to me as if he’s wasting his life worrying about dying...oh the irony! Stanza Two: “The mind blanks at the glare,” (the glare of death?), not because he is remorseful, not because of his lost time, not because he may never have a chance to right his wrongs, but because he is destined to disappear. “Not to be here, not to be anywhere.” Apparently, the man isn’t religious because he believes he’s just going to disappear, like a flame being blown out, instead of his soul living on in another life. Stanza Three: “Religion used to try, the vast moth-eaten brocade created to pretend we never die.” He believes religion was created only to soften the blow of death and convince people they won’t really die. Perhaps it was only created to give us a purpose. Here is where I can identify just a bit with the speaker because I often go through periods of weakness myself, and I convince myself of this very thing. “No rational being can fear a thing it will not feel, not...
...Analysis of Philip Larkin’s poem ‘First sight’ in relation to the idea of natural progression through stages of life.
First sight is an intense yet fulfilling interpretation of a newly born lambs first glimpses of the world. The poem also explores the difficulties the young lamb faces through its first experiences of the harsh environment and how they have to deal with it as they find their feet in the world. Been born in winter the lambs have yet to experience “earth’s unmeasurable surprise” which is the warmth and beauty the earth can provide. The title “First Sight” could be interpreted as being the “first sight” the new born lambs have of their new surroundings or it could be the poet’s “first sight” of the new born lambs. Whatever the interpretation, the readers are left in no doubt that the poem is about new beginnings in harsh environments and survival against all odds.
The poem consists of two regular stanzas each containing 7 lines. Throughout the poem there is a sense of regularity Larkin uses the regularity of the poem to assure the reader that although the lambs have been born at winter what the lambs have to endure is temporary despite their lack of awareness to conditions which will come. This is supported through the regular iambic pentameter which generally gives a sense of natural flow. Also, throughout the poem, A, B rhyme scheme adds to regularity of the poem even though the lambs see this as harsh as they know no different....
...PhilipLarkin – The Trees
Commentary by Merve Hilal Taş
The Trees by PhilipLarkin is a 3 stanza poem observing the rebirth of trees. The trees are used as a metaphor for life in general symbolizing our hopes that we try to achieve to be reborn before eventually dying. There’s also a message within the poem implying that even though we as humans observe the trees to be reborn, they actually grow older. This poem shows that growing old and changing is inevitable. It also has a rhyming scheme of a-b-b-a where it is not noticed right away while reading. This conveys and image of delicate leaves in the wind along with the last words of the poem; afresh, afresh, afresh which portrays a sound of trees getting in contact with the wind. Each stanza contains the same amount of lines and the same rhyming scheme which displays the cycle of trees and cycle of life.
The first stanza is very relaxing and lively. It contains the words “greenness” and “coming into leaf” which suggests the trees coming into bloom in spring. “Greenness” refers to purity and naivety where they look almost flawless during spring. However the narrator associates the greenness with grief because this greenness will only be temporary and they will eventually fall down. It is sorrowful that the trees can live for thousands of years while leaves are very ephemeral. “Leaf” symbolizes life having a positive connotation suggesting ‘coming into life’ or...
...PhilipLarkinPhilipLarkin, is a famous writer in postwar Great Britain, was commonly referred to as "England's other Poet Laureate" until his death in 1985. Indeed, when the position of laureate became vacant in 1984, many poets and critics favored Larkin's appointment, but the shy, provincial author preferred to avoid the limelight.
Larkin achieved acclaim on the strength of an extremely small body of work, just over one hundred pages of poetry in four slender volumes that appeared at almost decade-long intervals. Although Larkin can be cynical and disappointed in tone these qualities are not characteristic of all his poetry. It is more accurate to say he takes a realistic and unromantic approach to life which is evident in his poems. In contrast, all his poetry shows a genuine sensitivity to others, and an awareness and sympathy of their life experiences.
Church going is one of his most cynical poems. Even the title is cynical.” Church going” can mean going to church, or the fact that in his opinion the church is disappearing. 1st line is cynical. Larkin only goes in when nothing is going on, but in his opinion nothing important is ever going on in a church. Shows his disdainful attitude to church with phrases such as " another church" "little books" " some brass and stuff up the holy end" He is disrespectful, uncaring...
...PhilipLarkin demonstrates the use of “piquant mixture of lyricism and discontent” through his poetic explorations in Here and The Whitsun Weddings. Both pieces were published in 1964 as a collection of poems collectively titled ‘The Whitsun Weddings’. In the poem Here you see both lyricism (expression of emotion in an imaginative and beautiful way) and discontent (dissatisfaction, typically with the prevailing social or political situation) though in The Whitsun Weddings you tend to see more lyricism. In Here this is shown through industrialism and society while in The Whitsun Weddings by marriage and the passage of time.
Here is a moving poem that takes the reader on a visual journey through the countryside, to towns and finally the coast. The opening stanza of Here commences with the word ‘swerving’, which is repeated twice in the same verse, implying that the train is trying to avoid something, for example the irreversible destruction of the surrounding nature. This speculation can be demonstrated by the description of the ‘thin and thistled’ fields; they are no longer flourishing, as their abundance is not the priority. This statement shows the alliteration of t, which gives it, precision.
The first line describes the ramifications of the industrial revolution on society with its ‘rich industrial shadows’. This shows both lyricism and discontent with the adjective ‘rich’ offering images of wealth and prosperity, which would be a result...
...English 106, Spring 2012
Paper 2: PoetryResponse
The American Dream, what is it? Is it realistic? Can everyone attain it? These are some questions that depending on your culture and ethnicity could be answered differently. Imagine being in a culture where the American dream was not attainable due to the color of your skin or the way you looked. Many Americans feel that the American dream is that of money, houses, and cars. For many it is kindness, family and love. Even if your dream is merely to be comfortable with a roof over your head and food on the table, other people’s racism, anger and hatred can stop even the simplest of American dreams.
“Harlem Hopscotch” by Maya Angelou (740) is a metaphor for the constant struggles young African American children had to deal with while trying to fit into a white man’s society. Reading this poem in 2012, I can see the humor and sarcasm Angelou has put into this poem. Lines such as, “Another jump to the left everybody for hisself” reveals an image of a white man’s superiority and ignorance to others needs. “Since you black don’t stick around. Food is gone and rent is due, curse and cry and then jump two” There is such humor in this line about the struggles that African Americans went through and in some areas are still going through. For a strong African American who was trying to get out from behind the white man’s shadow; the visual of all the hoops that they would...
...At Grass By PhilipLarkin
Sound Devices & Rhythm
Regular rhyme pattern: In each stanza, there are rhymes on alternate lines, forming a regular pattern of efgefg, hijhij etc.
Such regularity seems to suggest a sense of restriction which echoes with the confinement human beings impose on the racing horses for the pleasure of human entertainment.
The use of repeated long vowels as in ‘shade’ (/ʃeɪd/), ‘tail’ (/teɪl/), ‘mane’ (/meɪn/) creates a gloomy atmosphere in the depiction of the setting where the once gloried but now anonymous horses are situated in at their age of retirement.
Enjambment & alliteration:
In stanzas 2 and 3, most of the lines end with no punctuation but run onto the subsequent line.
This creates a faster pace and rhythm to suggest the passing of time in stanzas 2 and 3, which recollect the now retired horses once competed for glory under the human gaze on the race track in the past.
The use of alliteration in stanzas 2 and 3, as seen in the use of fricative (fifteen, fable, faint, faded), sibilance (silks, start, sky, squadrons, subside, stop-press, street), etc., also creates a strong sense of continuity which reinforces the passing of time as suggested by the use of run-on lines.
In contrast, in stanza 4 almost every line ends with a punctuation, which contributes to a slower pace and rhythm when back to the present, namely the age of retirement of the horses.
Alliteration & onomatopoeia:
...Self's the man
Oh, no one can deny
That Arnold is less selfish than I.
He married a woman to stop her getting away
Now she's there all day,
And the money he gets for wasting his life on work
She takes as her perk
To pay for the kiddies' clobber and the drier
And the electric fire,
And when he finishes supper
Planning to have a read at the evening paper
It's Put a screw in this wall -
He has no time at all,
With the nippers to wheel round the houses
And the hall to paint in his old trousers
And that letter to her mother
Saying Won't you come for the summer.
To compare his life and mine
Makes me feel a swine:
Oh, no one can deny
That Arnold is less selfish than I.
But wait, not do fast:
Is there such a contrast?
He was out for his own ends
Not just pleasing his friends;
And if it was such a mistake,
He still did it for his own sake,
Playing his own game.
So he and I are the same,
Only I'm a better hand
At knowing what I can stand!
Swerving east, from rich industrial shadows
And traffic all night north; swerving through fields
Too thin and thistled to be called meadows,
And now and then a harsh-named halt, that shields
Workmen at dawn; swerving to solitude
Of skies and scarecrows, haystacks, hares and pheasants,
And the widening river's slow presence,
The piled gold clouds, the shining gull-marked mud,
Gathers to the surprise of a large town:
Here domes and statues, spires and cranes cluster
...“Larkin is a pessimistic rather than optimistic poet” – Discuss
Larkin has been regarded as a pessimistic poet. Larkin surely takes a very dark view of human life. The main emphasis in his poem is on failure and frustration in human life. However Larkin is not a uniformly pessimistic poet. Some of his poems have a profoundly moral character, which expresses itself in the need to control and organize life, rather than submit to a pre-determined pattern of failure. There is generally a debate going on in many of his poems between the positive and the negative aspects of human life. I feel that Larkin can be both a positive and negative poet.
I find the poem "The Trees" to be one of Larkin’s optimistic poems. "The Trees" deals with the reflective descriptions of Larkin’s observation of trees. Despite its misleading superficial simplicity, the poem bears a deeper meaning underneath: the trees that are reborn every year ‘the trees are coming into leaf like something almost being said’ symbolize renewal and hope in the face of the humans who have to face death eventually. Yet, throughout the poem, Larkin ambivalently ponders about this symbolism, as he delightedly views the picture of the growing trees but denies the immortality of their youth as a superficial veneer marked by the inward aging and an eventual death ‘Is it that they are born again And we grow old? No, they die too.’ The poem...