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Love Songs In Age

Philip Larkin

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that much-mentioned brilliance, love
Added by: Andrew Mayers
A characteristic Larkin theme – the idea that love is no more than a self-protective illusion. The way the poem germinates is also typical of Larkin. An ordinary, seemingly trivial incident is explored and in the process is revealed an inescapable truth about human experience. Perhaps less usual in Larkin’s poetry is the lack of cynicism or bitterness. I think this comes from the suggestion that the widow put aside not only her ‘love songs’ all those years ago, but also the youthful illusions that generate the unrealistic expectations we have of love.
Besides which...
Added by: paul mckenzie
Who hasn't pulled out (in context) the vinyl of their youth and noticed how it's aged and and left them remembering?
Love songs in age
Added by: Sade
This is a miserable, gentle poem. It is relatively short and straight forward yet it has a lot of bad connotations about life and how it can pass us by.
The poem ends on a depressing note, that near the end of our life we will suffer the grief of being discontented of how we have lived our life. The dreams we may have as inexperienced youths will not always be fulfilled, the love we will once feel so passionately will only be a placid memory in the end.
This poem is true to real life as it has no fairytale ending, no climatic finish. Alike the widow at the closing stages of our life we will feel empty and drained.
However Larkinís secret optimist could be said to be shown, as the poem allows the reader to make an active decision not to let time pass them by and to live life to the full . It could be said that the poems grave tale hints of a message to attain contentment throughout life.
Love Songs in age
Added by: Lilla
I disagree that the idea we are meant to be left with is that at the end of our lives we will feel 'empty and drained'. There is a warmth (sad though it is) in the widow's remembrance - a fullness of life lived in 'certainty' of a love that will always be on the brink of bursting with 'spring' (though this certainty is an illusion). Perhaps it is more the fact that we are not to pin our hopes on love - that in the end it is unable to promise that everything will stay the same, it cannot 'solve' or 'satisfy' - only we can do that for ourselves.

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