Two poems by Philip Larkin Essay

‘Love Songs in Age’ and ‘Reference Back’ are both verse forms by Philip Larkin that trade with the painfulness of memories and our subjugation to clip. In each. Larkin negotiations of the ways music can arouse memories. be it the sheet music ‘Love Songs in Age’ . or the records in ‘Reference Back’ . The tone of the verse form is really similar. with a negative sentiment expressed in the concluding stanza of each verse form. with ‘Reference Back’ covering with the deformation of memories over clip. and the subject of ‘Love Songs in Age’ being the overestimate of love. Despite this. there are a figure of differences in the manner Larkin achieves his effects. in both the construction and linguistic communication.

In ‘Reference Back’ the storyteller is speaking of sing place. and the deficiency of communicating between himself and his female parent. and how this is the manner it has ever been. Larkin uses the word ‘unsatisfactory’ four times in the verse form. to depict the hall. room. the mother’s ‘age’ and the son’s ‘prime’ . This puts accent on the thought expressed in the concluding stanza ; that we romanticise the yesteryear and therefore feel that the present pickets in comparing and experience feelings of dissatisfaction as ‘by moving otherwise we could hold kept it so’ . This thought of romanticizing the yesteryear is besides seem to an extent in ‘Love Songs in Age’

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Both verse forms consist of three stanzas ; the first presenting the state of affairs. the penultimate speaking of the significance of the music and the concluding stanza summarizing what Larkin wishes to show to the reader. In ‘Reference Back’ these stanzas are clearly separated by full Michigans at the terminal of each line. while in ‘Love Songs in Age’ Larkin uses enjambement. This can be seen between all three stanzas with ‘stood/Relearning how’ between the first and 2nd and ‘even more/The glare’ between the 2nd and 3rd. One account for this may be that in ‘Love Songs in Age’ Larkin is explicating that love can non halt anything. such as the decease of the woman’s hubby. and that life and love will ever go on. while another account is that this may be representative the streamlined music. with ‘ word after hyphenated word’ . It besides enhances the ‘unfailing sense of being…spread out like a spring-woken tree’ that continues to distribute and turn. that the music ‘had ushered in’ .

Enjambment between the stanzas is non used in ‘Reference Back’ . and this may be demonstrative of the storyteller seting on separate records. or ‘each blink of an eye of our lives’ . which the storyteller refers to as if they are all separate parts of life. instead than of a uninterrupted period of clip. It could besides exemplify the deficiency of communicating between the storyteller and his female parent. stand foring the physical and mental difference between them. with the female parent in the ‘unsatisfactory hall’ and the storyteller in his ‘unsatisfactory room’ . In both poems enjambement between each line is used. with no end-stopped lines nowadays in either verse form. perchance to give the feeling of the narrator’s fluxing ideas as the music provokes a assortment of memories.

Larkin besides uses the rhyme strategy of the verse forms to underscore his points. Although ab initio the verse forms seem similar. each with a regular rhyming form. there are elusive differences that contribute to different effects. In ‘Love Songs in Age’ the rime strategy is really regular throughout the verse form. with each stanza stoping in a rhymed pair and consisting of eight lines. The rimes are really straightforward. such as ‘space’ and ‘place’ . and ‘water’ and ‘daughter’ . This could stand for the manner life is uninterrupted and the presence of love in the woman’s life had non changed anything ‘then. and could non now’ . so everything remains the same as in each stanza.

It could besides be said that this is demonstrative of the manner love is ever ‘promising…to set unalterably in order’ everything in life. In ‘Reference Back’ the rhyming form is apparently regular. set in riming pairs. but the length of the stanzas varies. In each stanza. nevertheless. the rimes become half rimes and the strategy deteriorates. from ‘call’ and ‘hall’ to ‘lives’ and ‘perspectives’ . The simpleness of the rimes in the early portion of the verse form echoes Larkin’s point that people romanticise the yesteryear in their memories and simplify it. so there is dissatisfaction with the present in comparing. which is shown by the more tenuous rimes in the last stanza.