Philip Larkin

Philip Arthur Larkin was born August 9, 1922 in Coventry England. He attended Saint John’s College, Oxford and graduated with honors in 1943. His first published book of poetry was entitled “The North Ship,” and released in 1945. Although this book is not considered to be some of his best works in some passages we see glimpses foreshadowing his later more mature style, which showed up in full force with his next volume of poetry called “The Less Deceived,” published in 1946. This change was accounted to the introduction of Larkin to the poetry of Thomas Hardy who there after became a strong influence in his works from that point on. With this second publishing Larkin became a mar key poet of his generation spearheading a splinter group of poets in what he called “The Movement.” This was a group of English writers who were disenchanted with the current scene of neo-Romantic writings like that of Yeats and Dylan Thomas. Along with being a respected poet Larkin was also a great fan and critic of American Jazz. His poetry is said to be searing, often mocking, with flagrant wit showing his dark vision of the three universal themes of mortality, love, and human solitude. I feel the two poems I have chosen exemplify some of these traits quit nicely.
“Next, Please” This poem has a steady rhythm which is enhanced by the twelve rhyming couplets in its six quatrains. Upon reading the first stanza and even beyond that this rhyme and rhythm adds to the dark tone. The syntax and use of language also help convey the message of unconquerable doom that I feel is clearly apparent in this poem. Its use of imagery in relationship to the metaphors using commonplace things to describing peoples hopes and aspirations and eventual death I find very interesting and obviously the driving force of the poem.
The Rhyme pattern of aa, bb, cc, dd, ee, ff, gg, hh, ii, jj, kk, ll along with the trochaic rhythm seems to move this poem solemnly from couplet to couplet. When one reads it to...