Wedding Wind

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WEDDING WIND

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PHILIP LARKIN

Introduction The poem is full of joy, expectation, and excitment of the young woman on the brink of her new life. The wind is a symbol of renewal; the past is being transformed; a time of enriched experience is beginning. Larkin stands apart from the persona of the young woman. She is the speaker; it is her story. Two separate experiences are recounted by her. They form a narrative that comprises her wedding night and the first morning of her married life. Ironically her new husband is absent throughout thepoem. He is looking after the nuts and bolts of the real farm. She is looking to herself and the joyful powers she is beginning to take responsibility for; the power to be a lover, a wife, a mother, a co-owner of the farm. The two stanzas trace the sequence of her growth from a simple girl “and I was sad That any man or beast should lack The happiness I had.” To a speaker of profound questions.. “Can it be borne, this bodying forth by wind Of joy my actiond turn on….?” A strong narrative sequence unites both stanzas; first night, first day. Think of The Book of Genesis; of Eve.Consider what must have been on her mind during the first morning in Eden – her joy at knowing herself to be the treasure house of all future generations. Larkin appears to suggest that the girl is partaking of the same selfrealisation as Eve. Note the biblical echoes of, “Can even death….conclude Our kneelnig as cattle by all generous waters?” Wind in the poem is energy. In stanza one the speaker remembers the high wind first and then the noise of the door banging in the wind. Her new husband is not part of her recollection – he is absent bolting the stable door. In the first stanza she recalls the first night of her marriage. Often in the lore of marriage the first night is spoken of with special significance; as consummation and initiation - but not in this poem. Unexpectedly she tells us the simple truth; she felt a bit stupid when he had left,...
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