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Ambulances

Philip Larkin

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Ambulances
2002-09-24
Added by: Fenula McKenzie
I feel this poem has a strong metaphysical feel to its words. The whole topic of 'ambulances' is one of much emotion for me; as I myself was once in one, when I fell down my stairs. The ambulance in question was there in a matter of minutes and I feel this quick response saved my life. If my broken finger had ruptured any of my major arties I would have been dead in a short space of time. I feel our modern world needs to fully apreciate the true glory of that famed profession, the paramedic, and this poem by the wonderful Larkin not only fully gratifies this, but displays the glorious courage and bravery of these wondermobiles. Thank you.
2002-10-09
Added by: iszi


For me this is a classic Larkin poem for it takes an everyday occurance and explores what it really means on a subconcious level. I would disagree with the comments of Fenula McKenzie and say that far FROM praising the ambulance service this poem has far less to do with 'that famed proffession' (which is not even mentioned) and is almost completely to do with our lack of comprehension about our own mortality, a truth only brought to our attention by a life or death event such as watching an ambulance. Wondermobiles? I'd say that, FROM this poem, they were more like a modern grim reeper. I particularly like his description of death in an ambulance, shut off FROM the real world. It is a magnificent poem.
mortality indeed
2002-10-16
Added by: paul mckenzie
Isn't it simply a contrast between the trivia of daily life and the profound act of dying?

Between observance and experience?

2002-11-12
Added by: Tim
I agree with iszi on this one. I think Fenula missed the point of the poem it was definitely not written to glorify amublances.
2002-11-20
Added by: john
this poem i feel highlights the randomness and inevitability of death
2002-12-03
Added by: Stonebenj
i think fenula took all you guys in...her comments positively drip irony...
2003-01-27
Added by: Andie
I felt that this poem was mainly about the loss of identity in death, we lose our soul and all that is left is the casing, no longer considered a person just a body.
2003-05-13
Added by: Laura
I think the poem is quite good. it definitely gets the point across that death is inevitable and that we have an absense of choice when it comes to life and death. I think Larkin portrayed this idea well and it certainly made me think more about death.
you are all losers
2003-10-17
Added by: leanne white
did any of you sad pathetic losers ever think that maybe larkin wrote some of his poems not to have a hidden meaning? did you all lie in bed awake at night searching your brains for a meaning that wasn't there to make yourselves look intelligent? Stop trying to make larkins poems harder than they actually are. hugs and kisses xxx
Ambulances
2003-10-20
Added by: charlie
If Larkin's poems don't have anything deep and meaningful in them, why the hell am I sitting here trying to writing an A level essay about them?! The view that i got from this poem was how our society only takes notice of others until it is too late. We show concern when we see someone being taken into an ambulance, almost through morbid fascination, yet will carry on in our insular lives after the ambulance, or coffin, is out of sight. I see the poem as a reflection of how we view death and almost how death views us, fatalistically. Or maybe that girl is right, its just about a van with lights on that makes a funny noise...but I doubt my examiner will apreciate me writing that!

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