Here Philip Larkin

Powerful Essays
Write a close critical analysis of ‘Here’ showing how far this is characteristic of the style and concerns of Larkin’s collection ‘The Whitsun Weddings’

‘Here’ is a poem exploring Larkin’s flight of imagination as he travels from London to Hull on the train. It is the first poem in The Whitsun Weddings collection and seems to be an appropriate introduction because, much like his other poetry, it looks at humanity’s place in the world and the effect of consumerism.

Following the pattern of many other poems in this collection, ‘Here’ begins with physical ideas of ‘rich industrial images’, before becoming more abstract in the final stanza. By beginning the poem with the participle, ‘swerving’, Larkin immediately gives the reader a sense of the moment being suspended in the present, before an unpredictable, fast movement, which is not usually associated with travelling on a train. The word itself is sudden, describing an immediate action and repetition of this throughout the first stanza emphasises this sensation, creating a feeling of Larkin’s thoughts being free and unrestrained. The beauty of this movement is then contrasted by the sharp sounds of the ‘thin and thistled’ fields, bringing attention to the change in surroundings, from the town to the countryside. By listing what he sees from the window of the train – ‘scarecrows, haystacks, hares and pheasants’ - Larkin constructs a series of moving rural images that contrast to the earlier industrial descriptions of ‘workmen at dawn’. The sibilance on ‘haystacks, hares’ increases the rhythm of the poem and represents the movement of the journey of the train. As well as this, the constant and repetitive use of ‘and’ in this stanza creates a feeling of the images continuing forever, without stopping. This is further emphasised by the fact that the poem is all one sentence that is not end-stopped until the final stanza, resulting in the feeling of building tension and pressure.

In the last two lines, Larkin further

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Philip Larkin Here

    • 892 Words
    • 4 Pages

    knowing what I can stand! Here Swerving east, from rich industrial shadows And traffic all night north; swerving through fields Too thin and thistled to be called meadows, And now and then a harsh-named halt, that shields Workmen at dawn; swerving to solitude Of skies and scarecrows, haystacks, hares and pheasants, And the widening river's slow presence, The piled gold clouds, the shining gull-marked mud, Gathers to the surprise of a large town: Here domes and statues, spires and…

    • 892 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    ‘HERE’ PHILIP LARKIN CRITICAL ANALYSIS ‘Here’ is a sprawling, moving and often majestic poem that takes the reader on a strikingly visual journey through the countryside and the town, before finally ending up on the coast. Larkin uses long, flowing sentences which add a sense of continual movement; these sentences are full of rich imagery and description which fully immerse the reader in the poem. The poem is titled ‘Here’, yet in the first three stanzas the poem takes in various locations and…

    • 1263 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Philip Larkin

    • 1040 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Philip Larkin Philip Larkin, is a famous writer in postwar Great Britain, was commonly referred to as "England's other Poet Laureate" until his death in 1985. Indeed, when the position of laureate became vacant in 1984, many poets and critics favored Larkin's appointment, but the shy, provincial author preferred to avoid the limelight. Larkin achieved acclaim on the strength of an extremely small body of work, just over one hundred pages of poetry in four slender volumes that appeared at almost…

    • 1040 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Philip Larkin

    • 857 Words
    • 4 Pages

    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…

    • 857 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Philip Larkin

    • 508 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Philip Larkin was born in 1922 in Coventry, England. Like Thomas Hardy, he focused on intense personal emotion but strictly avoided sentimentality or self-pity. Deeply anti-social and a great lover (and published critic) of American jazz, Larkin never married and conducted an uneventful life as a librarian in the provincial city of Hull, where he died in 1985. This short poem touches on a favourite theme of Larkin's - the distance between what we originally plan and what, in the end, we achieve…

    • 508 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Philip Larkin

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages

    "Larkin is a poet of grey moods, suburban melancholy and accepted regrets." Do you agree or disagree You can look out of your life like a train and see what your heading for, but you can't stop the train. This was one of Larkin's famous quotes. It means life keeps going on, even when there's a bump on the road and you need to stop, but you just simply can't stop life. You have to be patient and flow through life until its time. This however, definitely composes Larkin as a poet who articulates…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    A poem which describes an ordinary or everyday scene is ‘Ambulances’ by Philip Larkin. ‘Ambulances’ is about an ambulance going to take someone away and the neighbourhood is watching what is happening. It shows the curiosity that is in every human being and the inevitability of dying. This essay will discuss how the poet uses an ordinary/everyday scene and make it important and to explore a wider universal theme. The essay will also show how Larkin’s use of poetic techniques makes and ordinary or…

    • 821 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Philip Larkin- “Here” analysis Nick Webb The poem "Here" by Philip Larkin is a descriptive poem on Larkin's travel from the countryside to the city of Hull, where Larkin lived for the last thirty years of his life. The descriptive words used to describe the motion of his journey "swerving" (which is repeated throughout the 1st stanza to represent movement) and “harsh-named halt" suggest a train journey in…

    • 1077 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Analysis of Philip Larkin

    • 896 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Analysis of Philip Larkin’s poem ‘First sight’ in relation to the idea of natural progression through stages of life. First sight is an intense yet fulfilling interpretation of a newly born lambs first glimpses of the world. The poem also explores the difficulties the young lamb faces through its first experiences of the harsh environment and how they have to deal with it as they find their feet in the world. Been born in winter the lambs have yet to experience “earth’s unmeasurable surprise” which…

    • 896 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    philip larkin analysis

    • 7816 Words
    • 27 Pages

    Analysis- SELFS THE MAN From the offset, we get the sense of a sarcastic, cynical and flippant character. “Oh, no one can deny / That Arnold is less selfish than I”. The colloquial “oh” gives a sense of how he brushes it off, and he seems to be boastful of his selfishness. Into the next few lines, he presents a stereotypical image of marriage as entrapment, “married a woman to stop her getting away” and the ironic aside, ‘Now she’s there all day” as though his “less selfish” friend didn’t know what…

    • 7816 Words
    • 27 Pages
    Good Essays