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Home Is So Sad

Philip Larkin

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Added by: paul mckenzie
That vase, indeed.

Home is so Sad
Added by: Claire, 18yrs
Does Home is so Sad really portray what is found in the typical, post 22nd World War British home? The sadness of it all? The tacky vase, the forgotten music, and the constant waiting - waiting for something to happen. Larkin really helps us to question just how much time we spend waiting for things to happen. The home waits for our return, the music and piano wait to be played. The vase waits for us to dust it. The pictures yearn to be appreciated, and the cutlery used. Do we connect with Larkin's predicaments, or is it just an ordinary house? And is Larkin completely negative and devoid of feeling? I don't think so, for we identify with the need for a home - a place to call out own, and perhaps Larkin is (almost eccentricly) suggesting that material objects have feelings too. Or perhaps, on the surface, Home is so Sad is purely based on the negativity of a person to look after their home, the boring and miserable lives that its inhabitents live, and the conformity to a type ("That vase" possibly being the must-have of the time)l which Larkin so furiously shunned. But surely Larkin becomes a stereotype within his own home?
Added by: Lobster Fry
This poem is indeed a superb still-life of the occasional sadness and vulnerability of one's own everyday. This version needs proofing - I don't want for a minute to carp about this excellent site (thousands of poems! What a job! Who types them in?) I think the fourth line should read 'no heart'. Carp over. Thanks.
Added by: Jough (Editor)
Ah, yes, my shellfish friend, that was a typo on our part.

It should be, and now is, "no heart".

To answer your other question, "Who types them in?" the answer is simple: I do.

Although I get help FROM submissions and sometimes get access to a nice scanner and a PC with OCR software to help my poor fingers FROM falling off as I type.


-- Jough

Added by: Laetitia
Claire, I don't think that Larkin means it that way (ie: just portraying the sad and empty feelings of the household items) only.

In my opinion, Larkin, in this poem, aims to portray the efforts etc people put into establishing a home, an emblem of mutual happiness and togetherness but I suppose, the poem's theme and it's style only go to prove how wrong we are. This is done through the sad personifcation of the household items, the somewhat sad yet detached tone, and the crumbling effect of the ending that shows this breaking down of hope.

It's not a very thorough comment anyway, my apologies for that :) hope I shed some new light on your thoughts and opinions twds this poem.
Added by: LARA
I don't think this is one of Larkins strongest poems butr it does reflect his persona. This like many of his poems is hugley linked to lonliness and unsettlement. He is aware of what his house is missing and he know that it craves compant. He most feels sorry for it and it's lonely possessions.''That vase'' sais it all really. A vase reflects how larkin feels and how his home feels, empty, hollow unfulfilled?yep, sounds like Larkin to me. This is a sad and realistic poems as most of Larkins are, this alone shows how Larkin was confused by life and never really knew what he wanted.

I like it. A bit.
Added by: Salvo
Yes Lara indeed. ''That vase'' Larkin sees his home as an empty vessel, ''no heart'' it has no life pumping through it, no character no meaning. The music yearing to be played, just as Larkin is yearing to be used yearning to live and have purpose.
This poem is so deep and not even Larkin himself will fully understand it. That i think is part of the effect the poem has on you, it leaves you thinking. Altough ''That vase.'''ends the poem so very well it will always be open and unsettled.

Thanking you , Salvo.
Added by: Scott Robson
so in all our debating of larkin we're returned to the orginal comment of paul (insightful), which would have been mine if not his
"that vase, indeed"
home is so sad
Added by: sarah
I have to say that Larkin has written some very depressing poems. I'm studying his collection "The Witsun Weddings" for my A-level english literature and most of the time i wish i wasnt. His views of life are so low and this is reflected in his poetry. Thanks for your comments on "home is so sad" its helped me understand what Larkin is trying to say and made my essay make much more sense!Cheers!
Sarah -Student of Benton Park School, Leeds
Added by: Turnip
This is one of my favourite poems by Larkin. I Agree with Paul Mcenzie wholeheartedly on his comments about 'That Vase'. Those two words are a climax and an anticlimax at the same time. It's as if Larkin is reflecting on the futility of life, and its lack of meaning. There's something hollow but at the same time frivolous about it. I think that Larkin had a sense of humour that is much sharper than most of his readers. I don't find this a depressing poem, it cheers me up no end to read it.

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