Synopsis[ edit ] The poem consists of three verses of four iambic tetrameter on an alternating rhyme scheme. The first verse is as follows:
He spent his working life as a librarian. He published four slim volumes of poetry, two short novels, and a fair number of critical essays and reviews. He seldom traveled and spent little time in London or, after his graduation, at Oxford or other major intellectual centers.
He parried the questions of the curious with platitudes and assurances of his consummate dullness. Larkin was full of contradictions. He uttered many unkind and cynical remarks about people; in his behavior he was often considerate of others.
Melancholy and pessimistic, he could charm people with his humor and conviviality. His mother, whom Sydney Larkin had married for her intelligence but who subsequently turned into a dull and submissive household functionary; infuriated Philip, but he both loved her and visited her faithfully throughout her long widowhood.
Misogyny gripped him from an early age, but he inspired the devotion of several intelligent women. Young Philip had little contact with girls.
His only sister was ten years older, an adult by the time Philip began school. His shyness and ungainliness-he was tall, thin, awkward; he stammered and wore thick glasses—contributed to his slowness in developing intersexual relationships.
He blundered through a few college dates, typically complaining about how much time, effort, and money had to be expended for the sexual favors that in his mind constituted the only benefits to be gained from association with women.
This unhealthy attitude, fortunately later modified, never disappeared entirely. The coarse language and cynicism for which a handful of his later poems are notorious abound in his letters to young male friends.
Exempted from military service because of his weak eyesight, Larkin spent the years from to at St. He projected himself a novelist, but his self-absorption yielded more verse than prose.
Although some of his poems found their way into anthologies of Oxford poetry during his undergraduate years, it took him some years to realize that he was principally a poet. Larkin was forced into his choice of career by his stammer, which precluded teaching, and by his distaste for the other professions.
He applied successfully for a position as public librarian in the small town of Wellington in Shropshire. He would remain an effective and conscientious librarian for the rest of his life.
In the library he met a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl named Ruth Bowman, the first woman with whom he developed a significant relationship. Their affair persisted through his one year in Wellington and fitfully through four subsequent years in the first of his three academic libraries, University College, Leicester.
It was characteristic of Larkin that this new interest did not entirely supplant the prior one. His playing off of Ruth, who sought marriage, against Monica gave him the satisfaction of having both a younger admirer whose career he could guide and a more sophisticated and intellectually challenging companion of his own age.
More important for Larkin, this pattern of dual lovers to be repeated later assisted him in avoiding commitments. Motion argues that this trait, hardly admirable in itself, generated in Larkin the tension from which some of his most distinctive poems emerged.
In the year of this triumph he was also appointed librarian at the growing University of Hull. Remaining there throughout the final thirty years of his life, he turned the facility into a major university library.
His affair with Monica continued via letters and occasional get-togethers, and he struck up affairs with first one, then another, of the female staff at Hull. He could give little of himself. On a train ride from Hull to London on Whit Saturday, Larkin noticed a series of newlyweds heading toward their honeymoons.
|A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘This Be The Verse’ | Interesting Literature||He spent his working life as a librarian.|
|Second Stanza||Synopsis[ edit ] The poem consists of three verses of four iambic tetrameter on an alternating rhyme scheme.|
|Quick Links - Poets.org||Soppy-stern as tough love? No marriage, no kids, no passing on of faults and failings.|
|About interestingliterature||And kneel upon the stone, For we have tried All courages on these despairs, And are required lastly to give up pride, And the last difficult pride in being humble. Around this time he developed a pseudonymous alter ego for his prose, Brunette Coleman.|
The poem is full of details of ordinary life that unforgettably re-create the noisy departures of a dozen freshly united couples and sound at the same time all the ambivalence of an observer who is glad to be single but appreciative of the opportunity to witness and record these spectacles of commitment.
Motion demonstrates that no one but Larkin could have achieved both the particular perspective and the poetic control necessary to the composition of this memorable poem. Larkin had been christened in Coventry Cathedral; at his death sixty-three years later he was given a church funeral.
He did not reject or scorn Christianity so much as hold it in suspension as one of many subjects on which he could keep poetic watch. He excelled at investigating subjects that he could approach warily, ponder closely, and then retreat from safely.
He often went for months without producing a serious poem of any sort and blamed his laziness on trivial external circumstances such as the noise made by his neighbors. He drank far too much. He had a passion for pornography. Enormously sensitive to the subtle possibilities of standard and colloquial English, he frequently fell back on gutter language in his letters and even in his verse though it must be conceded that many Larkin aficionados endorse the four- letter words that dot a few of his poems.“This Be the Verse” appears in Larkin’s last poetry collection, High Windows, published in , the year before my birth.
The poem is perhaps one of Larkin’s most quoted, most anthologized. The poem is perhaps one of Larkin’s most quoted, most anthologized. Days by Philip Larkin. Philip Larkin. Days Analysis First Stanza.
The first stanza is composed of short sentences and opens with a question which is answered simplistically, as I said before, as though a parent trying to explore the concept of life to a small child.
in the next verse. Second Stanza. The tone changes in the second stanza. Philip Larkin was born on 9 August at 2, Poultney Road, Radford, Coventry, the only son and younger child of Sydney Larkin (–), who came from Lichfield, and his wife, Eva Emily Day (–) of Epping.
JEHANNE DUBROW. Don’t Have Any Kids Yourself: On Larkin’s “This Be the Verse” One week into the third semester of my PhD program, the chair of the department called me into her office for a meeting.
Larkin may believe that we are better off never having been born, but this doesn’t follow from a soft determinism or compatibilism (the idea that free will and determinism can be reconciled.) The fact that life is less than perfect, doesn’t imply that it isn’t worth living. On August 9, , Philip Larkin was born in Coventry, England.
He attended St. John's College, Oxford. His first book of poetry, The North Ship, was published in and, though not particularly strong on its own, is notable insofar as certain passages foreshadow the unique sensibility and maturity that characterizes his later work.
In , Larkin discovered the poetry of Thomas Hardy and.