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Philip Larkin

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This bloke is boss!
Added by: paul mckenzie
How good is Larkin? I don't know about seeing ghosts but when I experience this man's poetry the hairs on the back of my neck stand up withthe spookiness of seeing my own convictions conveyed to me with such perfection. Pure genius.
“Slowly light strengthens, and the room take
Added by: Andrew Mayers
The image of time/ Torn off unused” is great, as is the emphatic dismissal of religion as “That vast moth-eaten musical brocade/ Created to pretend we never die.”
That first line of the last stanza records the point at which everyday reality comes back into focus. As the last line shows, it is a reality dependent on the familiar and the habitual. In ‘Waiting For Godot’, Vladimir exclaims, “We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener.” Larkin reminds us that this is probably just as well.
time torn off unused
Added by: paul mckenzie
Haven't we all torn off a bit of time and not used it? Larkin's hotline to our sundry existences

The crouching phones in locked up offices is starker still.

And there's the pleasure.
Added by: Simon Parsons
I think that the first stanza is often overlooked, that the key to this poem is that the time spent contemplating death is the empty night of the insomniac
A Scary Poem
Added by: Jim Fish
Why do I find the poem scary? Because every line of it rings with the iron certainty of truth. When I read it for the first time it made me shudder. This immensely powerful poem takes no prisoners! So, if you like cheery poems about flowers, rabbits and romance etc, steer clear of Larkin's Aubade. This is the kind of poem that will pour a bucket of cold reality over your day. Larkin confronts his subject head-on and gazes unblinking at the one thing we can absolutely rely on ie "the sure extinction that we travel to".

poet lauriat
Added by: Igoo32
20K in debt and 4 years later, all I got to show for my college experience is this f#cking poem.
Well worth the money.
Is there anything in the world so soaked in truth as these words?
I doubt it.
This poem changed my life. Thank you Philip Larkin and may your soul rest in peace.
RE jim fish
Added by: brendan
interesting comment jim made, since flowers ("forget what did" & "cut grass"), rabbits ("myxomatosis" & "take one home for the kiddies") and romance ("when first we faced," etc.) were all things larkin enjoyed as well.

sure, the death stuff gets your attention, but larkin wrote just as much about life too. he's anything but a one-note poet
Re: Brendan's comments
Added by: Jim Fish
Read the poems that Brendan cites eg "Cut Grass" and "Take One Home For the Kiddies" (neither of which is particularly cheerful to put it mildly) and then decide which of us is right.
maam, we're playing funerals now
Added by: jf
again, larkin smacks us across the chops with the terrible nearing of our sure extinction. i remember thinking about death as a child. a number of the images larkin brings out here resemble a flash of understanding i recall having one morning while riding in the car with mummy: that we will be lost in emptiness forever. it's a chilling idea, and is very difficult to grasp - even for a fraction of a second.

and for those of you who wish to bicker over the greater intimations of a pleasant, or a destitute larkin,
consider the title; Aubade is traditionally a celebration of coming dawn, not death; and if you think he's used the title in a i-can't-wait-for-morning sense, read the last stanza - over and over and over until you get it whole.

interesting note, he wrote this poem over a period of three years.
Solo Moment
Added by: Erik Markovs
Larkin is a master at conveying the methodology of a moment or process. That moment of time when you are most alone, faint light peeking around the curtains at 4am; no family members, no moving cars, sparse lights; just you, managing your relationship with the end of your life. It is strange and sobering to manage death within our own minds. We so often push these thoughts aside, but at 4am we see that it may all end by us just being absent, and that is our only impact, that we are gone. RIP.

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