Final_Love and Death Phillip Larkin.docx - Anna Lopez 1...

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Love and Death in the Poetry of Philip Larkin . “What will survive of us is love . ” Philip Larkin was no stranger to classic poetic themes such as love and death . However, the famously misinterpreted last line of Larkin’s poem, An Arundel Tomb is arguably the best representation of his complete understanding of his inability to relate to the world and their views on love and death . While Larking attempts to make a claim that the world will do they want with our memories, uninformed readers ironically chose to do what they want with his verses . Readers often look past any truth that may have existed and absorb the message they wish to see . Philip Larkin explores the idea of love and death in many poems oftentimes feeling like an outsider in a world that either, has it completely figured out or has no idea the dark reality that exists . Larkin’s exploration of love and death often reads as poetically rhythmic research into finding out who has it right . Philip Larkin explored love and death in a uniquely-Larkin fashion often combining his signature self-deprecation and crippling realism . It is possible that Larkin’s dismal view on love, death, and his worthiness of either may have stemmed from his less than pleasant upbringing and subsequent conflict-riddled love-life . Philip’s father, Sydney Larkin, was a nihilist and Nazi sympathizer . Having attended at least two Nazi rallies in his lifetime is telling of the type of man Philip was exposed to as a role Anna Lopez 1
model . While, the specifics of any abuse he may have been subjected to are not readily available online, Larkin never shied away from sharing his experiences through his poetry . In the poem This Be the Verse , Larkin paints a clear picture of his opinion regarding his upbringing . Larkin’s lines, “They fuck you up, your mum and dad . They may not mean to, but they do,” are clear examples of the indirect and unintentional damage he felt his parents, and parents in general, cause . Being that Sydney Larkin was a nihilist, Phillip was exposed to ideas that life was meaningless . The easily-reached conclusion for a young and impressionable Larkin would be that if the inevitability of death rendered life meaningless then love too, held no real value . Larkin expressed his discontent with what he learned from his parents in the lines, “They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you . His inherited bleak sentiment of love and death may have influenced his opinions of himself and any future relationships he’d ever hold . Phillip Larkin had a longtime companion by the name of Monica Jones . It is believed that many of his poems may have been influenced by this relationship . However, Monica was not the only muse in his love poems .

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