Larkins Poems Essay

This essay has a total of 897 words and 4 pages.

Larkins Poems

1. Choose three poems and analyze the effectiveness in them of Larkin's imagery.

Larkin's poems are great artifacts of language; often colloquial and which bring many
images to a person's mind when reading them. We think of these images due to his use of
words, standard rhyme schemes and his interesting perception of life transmitted through
his poems. This essay will study these three poems; ‘The Whitsun Weddings', ‘High
Windows' and ‘Sunny Prestatyn' in order to show the effectiveness in them of Larkin's
imagery.

‘The Whitsun Weddings,' represents the change in life, which everyone goes through. This
poem is about a man, possibly Larkin, going on a train heading to the countryside. Towards
the middle of the poem, he sees that on every station the train stops at, there is a
newlywed couple getting on for their honeymoon. At the end of the poem, he explains how
marriage changes you. He uses many nouns to describe what he sees while on the train.

The first two stanzas describe in detail what he is viewing from inside the train. For example:
"Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock."

In this line, he is thoroughly describing each object he passes by, even the smell of the
fish-dock. He tends to do this very successfully because he uses clever metaphors in his
writing. An example of this could be one from the line above, "of blinding windscreens."
He is referring to the sun when he says, "blinding." This gives an effect to the readers
because they automatically think of a situation in which they too were blinded by the sun.
Therefore, an image comes to their mind while reading it trying to put themselves in that
situation. Throughout the poem, he describes other things as well, which bring images to
your mind. For example, "its postal districts packed like squares of wheat." This brings
an image to your head of how the areas of districts are nicely grown.

The image Larkin perceives at the end of the poem is somewhat complex.
"A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower
Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain."
Rain does not fall in a parabolic curve. The image that Larkin wants us to imagine is a
"shower" of arrows which falls out of sight, somewhere in the future as rain. His use of
metaphor (arrows) broadens the image of lives being projected from the present into the
future. This image is of growth and procreation.

The poem, ‘High Windows,' is about a man who is reflecting on the change of generation.
He sees two young people and automatically believes they are making love, something which
would not have been done at his age. The use of colloquial language in the first stanza
helps give a greater effect by showing that in someway, the "couple of kids" use that
language. It also relates more to the reader because generally they know what the poet is
trying to say as they use that language. The second stanza gives a simile which helps us
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