Exploring Identity And Time In Here An Arundel Tomb And The Whitsun Weddings

1630 words - 7 pages

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Larkin has been criticized over the years for the moroseness of his poems, the blackened description of everyday life that some people say lacks depth, however, unlike many other poets, Larkin does not always write the truth or the depth of his feelings. In many there is a voice, trying to convince its author of something that is usually quite evident or exploring itself but revealing only the surface. Why he is trying to convince himself and what are is true feelings present the real challenge and profundity of Larkin poems. The search for one's identity, combined for everybody in one's unique fantasies and realities is a recurrent theme in his poems. As is time, the passing of it, the transformation it engenders and the damage it... View More »

Body Sample...


However, it is unspoilt by man because nobody lives there, if he were to be there then it would be spoilt, he therefore recognises that it is better for it to stay an imagined world "out of reach".

An Arundel Tomb is a poem about time, the way everything mutates over the years until what you meant to be most important in the beginning becomes insignificant. Underlying his ideas on time and its passage and damage are the themes of death but also love, a theme not usually associated with Larkin so that maybe he should be remembered for "What will survive of us is love" and not for the usually simply interpreted lines from "Dockery and son": "Life is a boredom, then fear".

The poem starts off by describing the sculpture around which the poem revolves, the earl and the countess are quite a proper couple but their features are quite indistinct, Larkin uses the words "blurred" and "vaguely" to describe them. Everything is very plain and lacks decoration in the manner of the "pre - baroque"; the feeling we get from this sculpture is that emotions were very stiff in these times so that it comes as a shock that they are holding hands. Larkin describes the shock as a "sharp tender shock" which suggests that although it is abrupt it is quite pleasing.

It is the third verse that the voyage through time begins, at first when it is seen, presumably after the death of the couple, it is not noted for that gesture of love so that even the sculptor thought it would be "The Latin names around the base" that would survive. Larkin tries to show us that the purpose of something done ...

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