Larkin - EN-314: Contemporary PoetryProfessor...

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Unformatted text preview: EN-314: Contemporary PoetryProfessor ParthasarathyExploring Larkins Poetics: The parallel vision of Phillip Larkins Aubade to John Donnes The Good-MorrowLarkin said his aim in writing a poem was to construct a verbal device that would preserve an experience indefinitely by reproducing it in whoever read the poem. (Philip Larkin, The Art of Poetry, 45)It is important to understand Larkins poetic theory in order to experience the vision and bravado within his poetry. In his poem Aubade, Larkin reproduces the terrifying experience of imagining death, evoking the same sense of inadequacy and hopelessness we all feel when laboring over the concept of mortality. The poems title does not accurately represent the classical style and definition of an aubade poemlike Donnes The Good-Morrow, a poem that expresses the regret of parting lovers at daybreak. However, Larkins poem evokes a similar experience, one of despair and discontent over the parting and detachment of life. Larkin was far more concerned with the content of his poems rather than the formal and technical aspects of poetry like many modernist poets. Thus, despite his Aubadeslack of conventional theme, for it does not share a similar grievance between lovers over the coming of morning, the tone of the poem parallels the experience of lament and separation and both poems share a similar sense of affirmation in their final lines. In turn, the title of Larkins poem seems appropriate insofar as the content of the poem is concerned.John Donnes, The Good-Morrow is one of the most distinguished dawn-song poems ever written. Although, unlike Larkins Aubade, the poem centers on the separation between lovers at dawn, it produces the same sense of experience, for if the lovers in Donnes poem are seen as one world, one being, their inevitable separation is comparable to death. The Good-Morrow is a love poem, comparing the pleasure of the two lovers in the small room they now share to the innocence of babyhood in the crib. This is illustrated through Donnes imagery. This youthful pleasure between the two lovers is evoked in the images he presents in his first stanza, of childish pleasures seelily and in the words snorted and seaven sleepers den which refer to the cave in which seven Christian youths fled the persecution of Decius (A.D. 249), and slept for nearly two centuries. Moreover, Donne continues by comparing the two lovers to worldly explorers, sea-discoverers, saying that they find whole hemispheres in each others eyes. In conclusion, Donnes poem, like Larkins, tackles the deep and practical truth in the concepts of death and immortality in the final three lines of The Good-Morrow. Donne is basically arguing that if him and his lover are indeed one, they are stable, mixed equally (19) inferring that they are immortal....
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course EN 313 taught by Professor Parthasarathy during the Spring '08 term at Skidmore.

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Larkin - EN-314: Contemporary PoetryProfessor...

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