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This Be The Verse

Philip Larkin

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Added by: Evil Academic
To some of you earnest-types (both pro and con the poem). Regardless of the general rightness of what the poem says, it is also funny. Argue about it by all means, but the angrier you get, the more you seem to have missed the essentially arch or ironic character of the poem, no?
Mr. Larkin, Genius?
Added by: One too many...
Lets face it the man had a point... All of you have proved that. No matter how we look upon ourselves or another mans poetry it is clear that we can all come across as being somewhat 'fucked up'.
Added by: James
My interpretation is that this poem is rejecting conventional and religious morals (by mocking the Bible through its title). The poem shows a clear view of Larkins anti-romanticism and we can see the influence of Schopenhauer and his existentialist motives. Larkin showed the movement from the strict lifestlye of the to the freedom of the 1960's. Top poet!
how could we ever know what the poet feels...
Added by: waspberry
...and why on earth would we care?

A poem is a POEM, not someone telling you how they feel or what they think. Art is not necessarily autobiography - even when artists say they're telling the truth they often aren't. Art is made from obervations of particular bits human behaviour, crystallised to show something clearly, in paint, words, music etc. You can't imagine that Shakespeare really poked his own eyes out to write Lear? or someone else's eyes? Or that RL Stevenson was really a castaway. They're works of IMAGINATION, and to understand them you have to use yours, and see how it feels to experience the world from a point of view which is not your own. Which doesn't mean that the experience you then have of the art is the same as that of the artist - it's still yours, but broader.

Which is why it's so frightening that seemingly intelligent people can't empathise with the feelings in this poem and think Larkin is a sad old geezer and the 'people on the other side of the pond' are miserable depressives - maybe they just have a clue!

To see how Larkin finds a way of expressing brimming joy (it doesn't matter if he ever felt it or not) read Wedding Wind. Remember - he was NEVER a deliriously happy farmer's wife on her wedding day... he's a POET showing you how some people sometimes feel.

Get a grip people...
Added by: Big Tiny
What a lot of posers!. You agogonise over a poem straining to be intelluctual and look for a deeper meaning. Here Larkin means what he says, it was his expereince and no doubt the expereince of some of his friends. " Fuck you up" is not a reference to pregnancy etc in anyway at all , it is purely a very strong English expressiojn whose depths would be understood by fellow Englishmen. Of copurse some will disagree with the sentimenst of the poem for it is a genertalisation but some also will identify with the sentimenst and say "Yeah that was me."
Added by: Lucy
I think Larkin could well have used a deliberate play on words with his double entendre "they fuck you up". This, on one level cvan certainly refer to the influence that parnts have on their children, but equally it could mean that children get conceived even when they are not wanted. "they may not mean to, but they do."
There is a pregancy metaphor in "it broadens like a coastal shelf" and the second to last line could be a warning to pull out before conception - the withdrawal method.
Added by: Nadine Harry
I love this poem! Its great! n i disagree with another comment someone else made about it only being english people that would write something like this! That is very ignorant to be quite frank! I love this poem so much and larkin deserved every penny he got for it!
Added by: Levi
i think this poem is brillant, i may only be 17, but i know what good poetry is.

so far, i have only read this poem, Dockery and Son, and I Remember, I Remember, by Lerwin, but already am fascinated by his skill.

Firstly, he can use, seen terrifically, in this poem simple words and subjects to pass through a powerful meaning.

i love it.
Added by: aunty marg
hellooo to all the dorises, i like english but you all take it to far get a life cos i have got one i went to rumours last week and got laid.haha

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