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Next, Please

Philip Larkin

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Next,Please
2002-09-02
Added by: David Maddaford
How utterly dreadful is the adjective " birdless"! One is reminded of the comments made by visitors to the site of Auswich that there is total silence there now,that no bird can be heard.
Be Here Now
2003-03-31
Added by: Mark
The material nature is always promising a better future, but if we get caught up in that allure, we miss the best possible present, til last life's only certainty arrives, a birdless silence. Yet despite that surety, today birds do sing, else why would a birdless silence be so horrible? Do we listen to them, or are we so caught in the bindings or our interior life's expectancy, we become functionally deaf?

We have a choice, thanks Philip, for the warning.
next, please
2003-04-05
Added by: kevin o brien
This poem encapsulates the the 'spirit' of the modern age, which is of course consumerism. Larkin captures the, in the end, hopelessness of life despite (or because of?) our never ending obsession with material items. Perhaps he is tellling us to consider our mortality and to be more discerning when pursing our goals in life.
2003-08-22
Added by: Steve Burt
I disagree with Kevin o'Brien.
This poem is not about hopelessness but hopefulness.
How we feel that happiness is just round the corner despite it's repeated failure to appear.
2003-09-05
Added by: James Wills
I would say, following on from the comments above that the poem is about "hopeless hopefulness", or "false hopefulness".

But the consumerism comment rings truest for me. "We will be happy once we've got a digital widescreen plasma TV, then happiness will arrive".

One needs to turn away from the imag of the boats on the horizon and face one's own life as it is -- that seems to me to be the "message" of this one.
2006-06-18
Added by: chris
The poem has nothing to do with modern consumerism; it is for all time. It expresses the vanity of human wishes and the inevitability of death and extinction.

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