As a poet who wrote during the post war period during the 1950’s & 1960’s; Philip Larkin’ poetry reflected the philosophy of many individuals in Britain; as it was beginning to be re-built physically and metaphorically. It was an emergence of a new Britain; as this particular era was full of promise. Due to the change that occurred during this era. The aspirations and hopes of many individuals were high as well as romantic yearning and disillusioned pragmatism. Philip Larkin wrote to explore the gulf between our natural instinct to aspire and dream and the harsh reality that many fail to comprehend. Philip Larkin emphasises the fact as a result of such high aspirations; many set themselves up for disappointment and disillusionment.
The poem Wild Oats is a particularly relevant poem which explores the gap between romantic yearning and disillusioned pragmatism. Wild Oats seems to comment on the issue of commitment and questions the prevailing sexual attitudes. This is evident in the poem as the title is clearly a conventional metaphor which in contrast to the topic of the poem of Love, relationships and marriage is ironic as the tone of Wild Oats is a casual tone (due to the title) with a sense of flippancy; other signs that indicate a sense of flippancy in the poem is the use of colloquial language such as the fact the poem bears a conversational tone “Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.” As well as the enjambment; this begins in the first stanza and ends towards the end of stanza 2: “Unknown to the clergy.” Arguably the conversation tone that is evident in the poem could be a result of Larkin deliberate theme. Where his poetry can be seen as “connecting on the everyday world they knew in language they understood.”
Larkin’s diction is never coincidental; and therefore what on the surface may seem as casual holds deeper metaphorical meaning,