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MCMXIV

Philip Larkin

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2002-09-17
Added by: Adam Sopp
MCMXIV is a perfect example of exclusive literature; literature written to be read and enjoyed by a learned minority. The poem can also be read in alternative way. Instead of calling it a war poem, just think about how 1914 was the close of the Victorian age. A perfect example of Post-Structuralism!
mcmxiv
2002-12-17
Added by: Mark Caulfield
I view MCMXIV more as a eulogy just like the rest of Larkin's poetry. In my opinion MCMXIV is more of a commentary on British culture during "the great war" and the mythological sense of that culture that Larkin deems to present a complex number of ironies. Most notably the realization that is incoherent to those living in this culture that it is disminishing before their very eyes!! The seriousness of the imagery of trench warfare during WWI portrays this social irony. The mythological sense of this culture can also be seen through the title itself. It is presented in Roman numreals to portray a sense of myth that the culture in this poem has the allusion to.

Larkins critique on society can be seen by many in a negative sense but contrasts FROM the enormity of negativity that modernist poets such as Eliot or Pound portrayed in their poetry(ie a sense of impending doom and a bleak future e.g Eliots epigraph to his classic poem the Wasteland of the prophet Sybil who looks INTO the future and only wants to die, the irony is that sybil will live forever!) overall Larkin refuses to look upon the past in atragic sense , declaring that one cannot mourn lot possibilities. In a sense Larkin almost implies that English tradition is buried underneath the guise of Modernism.

In this sense Larkin can be seen as a Movement poet in the limbo of his own poetic world. Donald Davie had contrasting views as he encouraged the use of the lyric form more in poetry in an attempt to grasp back the classic eras of english poetry in the midst of a disminishing empire.

Sound confusing???? read that in your fuckin' class test tomorrow Mr. Coleman!!!(what?he's not going to be reading this fuckin' website!) who are you talking to?

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