Compare the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about love, in your response you should write about tow of Larkins poems

Topics: Love, Marriage, Poetry Pages: 3 (1395 words) Published: April 10, 2014
Compare the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about Love, in your response you should write about at least two of Larkin’s poems Larkin’s general view on love and marriage is that both are a liability. This is seen throughout many poems including ‘Self’s the man’ where Larkin talks about a man being held back and worked to death by his wife. Abse’s views are somewhat contrary to Larkin’s. He has a much softer approach when talking about love and feels that it connects himself with his family, as seen in his poems ‘Postcard to his wife’ and ‘The Malham Bird’ where he expresses his love for his wife. Love as a theme is present in many of Larkin’s poems and ‘Self’s the man’ illustrates his stereotypical outlook on marriage and love. In the first stanza Larkin directly compares himself to his made up character of Arnold, who represents all the lower class men in a marriage. The first two lines ‘Oh, no one can deny/ That Arnold is less selfish than I’ have a humorous tone in with the use of a rhyming couplet, Larkin is patronising the reader. In the next line he writes how Arnold married a woman to ‘stop her getting away’. In comparison, the poem ‘The Malham Bird’ Abse writes of love in a different way ‘in love, you a Gentile’. His soft tone creates a slower pace to the poem which shows his love for his late wife. On the other hand Larkin doesn’t use the word love and he uses a faster matter-of-fact tone. Larkin is often viewed as sexist but here he could be seen as saying that women don’t get a chance to live their lives how they want to because men marry them ‘Now she’s there all day’. In the second stanza Larkin continues to paint women in a poor light ‘And the money he gets for wasting his life on work/ She takes as her perk’. The first line uses enjambment which makes the poem sound like a list of moans. She appears to be greedy by taking his money. Larkin displays an air of snobbery about the lower classes hard labour jobs. He describes the woman as...
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