"Aubade" Philip Larkin Poetry Response

Topics: Fear, Anxiety, Thought Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: December 31, 2010
Poetry response to “Aubade”
Charity Ryan

The poem I am responding to is “Aubade,” which is written by Philip Larkin. I looked up the definition of the word Aubade on dictionary.com, and it said that an Aubade is a song or poem of or about lovers separating at dawn. It is also defined as a song or instrumental composition concerning, accompanying, or evoking daybreak. Stanza One: The speaker hints that he is at home in his bed. “Waking at the four to soundless dark, I stare.” He wakes up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep. “In time the curtain edges will grow light.” The poem is written in first person, so I’m assuming that the author is the speaker as well, but I could be wrong. (For some reason, I am inclined to refer to the speaker as a “he.”) At this point, the man is lying in bed, pondering death, which is “A whole day nearer now.” The only thing he can focus on now is dying, “Making all thought impossible but how and where and when…” he will die. It seems to me as if he’s wasting his life worrying about dying...oh the irony! Stanza Two: “The mind blanks at the glare,” (the glare of death?), not because he is remorseful, not because of his lost time, not because he may never have a chance to right his wrongs, but because he is destined to disappear. “Not to be here, not to be anywhere.” Apparently, the man isn’t religious because he believes he’s just going to disappear, like a flame being blown out, instead of his soul living on in another life. Stanza Three: “Religion used to try, the vast moth-eaten brocade created to pretend we never die.” He believes religion was created only to soften the blow of death and convince people they won’t really die. Perhaps it was only created to give us a purpose. Here is where I can identify just a bit with the speaker because I often go through periods of weakness myself, and I convince myself of this very thing. “No rational being can fear a thing it will not feel, not...
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