Philip Larkin

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Philip Larkin demonstrates the use of “piquant mixture of lyricism and discontent” through his poetic explorations in Here and The Whitsun Weddings. Both pieces were published in 1964 as a collection of poems collectively titled ‘The Whitsun Weddings’. In the poem Here you see both lyricism (expression of emotion in an imaginative and beautiful way) and discontent (dissatisfaction, typically with the prevailing social or political situation) though in The Whitsun Weddings you tend to see more lyricism. In Here this is shown through industrialism and society while in The Whitsun Weddings by marriage and the passage of time.

Here is a moving poem that takes the reader on a visual journey through the countryside, to towns and finally the coast. The opening stanza of Here commences with the word ‘swerving’, which is repeated twice in the same verse, implying that the train is trying to avoid something, for example the irreversible destruction of the surrounding nature. This speculation can be demonstrated by the description of the ‘thin and thistled’ fields; they are no longer flourishing, as their abundance is not the priority. This statement shows the alliteration of t, which gives it, precision. The first line describes the ramifications of the industrial revolution on society with its ‘rich industrial shadows’. This shows both lyricism and discontent with the adjective ‘rich’ offering images of wealth and prosperity, which would be a result of the industrial advancement of the town. However this positivism is withdrawn with the noun ‘shadows’ placed in juxtaposition, which suggests that the light is being blocked out and therefore, the town cannot grow and flourish.

The consequences of nature on life is mirrored in the shifting of the ‘widening river’s slow presence’. The river gives a perception of reassurance, and endurance over industrialism. The lengthened assonance slows the pace and provides the feeling of security and tranquillity. This reference...
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