The Be the Verse

‘This be the verse’ Analysis.
‘This be the verse’ is a poem that focuses on the somewhat controversial idea that parenthood is an inherently flawed concept. Phillip Larkin opens with ‘They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad’, which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem; bitter, miserable, and most importantly, a warning. ‘Fuck you’ is typical of Larkin. He was famed for his use of ‘working class’ language in order to appeal to an audience that often consider poetry pretentious. The second line ‘They may not mean to, but they do’ reiterates Larkin’s resolve, but at the same time negates some blame away from parents; it’s not their fault, they can’t help it. ‘They fill you with the faults they had’ is the third line, and makes it clear the issue Larkin has with parents. The line ‘And add some extra just for you’ adds to the idea that parents are naturally flawed, by implying that they develop flaws that the child will inherit as well.
Stanza two develops the point of the child being ‘fucked’ not being all due to the parent. Larkin focuses on the parents experiences of childhood and youth.   ‘But they were fucked up in their turn’ allows the reads to have some sympathy with the parents, and the use of ‘turn’ suggests that when this turn is over, another will begin, and this will keep on happening. ‘By fools in old-style hats and coats’ refers to grandparents of the reader. ‘old style hats and coats’ are very traditional items of clothing, and may be trying to get across how traditional (implying perhaps physical) the grandparents parenting style may have been. The third line ‘who half the time were soppy-stern‘ means either that   parents are over protective, or that they flit back from one to the other too frequently, probably based solely on their mood. Line four of this stanza, ’And half at one another’s throats’, tells us what parents do when they’re not being soppy stern. Lines 3 and 4 give the reader the idea that parents are always doing something to...