Mr. Bleaney

Topics: Prison, Poetry, Stanza Pages: 2 (755 words) Published: June 4, 2011
Mr. Bleaney
Mr. Bleaney is a poem by Philip Larkin. It has seven stanzas split into two main themes. It is about the thoughts of Larkin as the landlady shows him around the room of the mysterious ‘Mr. Bleaney’. I think that ‘the Bodies’ was where he worked; it could be a colloquial reference to a particular part of a company. This would fit in with ‘They moved him’ as it could be a transfer. ‘Bodies’ is also quite relevant because the poem was written immediately after the Second World War. The room itself is very simple. Too simple; ‘one hired box’ in which he must live. The poem very much reflects the thing that it is describing, the room and even the life, (if you can call it that); of Mr. Bleaney seem dull, monotonous and bare. Even his name is bland. The poem reflects this not only in words but in its rhyme scheme and rhythm too. It has a rhyme scheme of ABAB and it continues throughout the poem and shows the predictability of their lives. The enjambment which continues throughout the poem shows how the monotonousness of his life runs on and on. The room doesn’t even have a coat hook on the back of the door, a feature found in prison cells, and the curtains are ‘five inches from the sill’. This shows how unloved and unlived in this room is. The furniture in the room is described in one line. ‘Bed, upright chair, sixty-watt bulb’: even the most basic rooms have a shade over the bulb. Here is juxtaposition with a prison cell, along with the upright chair, and the size. (‘No room for books or bags’). What surprises the reader is when Larkin says ‘I’ll take it’. This phrase is normally associated with happiness at what you are purchasing, and this room is clearly not satisfactory. The second part of the poem is the four remaining stanzas. It is about the life of Mr. Bleaney and how it relates to Larkin. For most of it Larkin looks down on Bleaney, and thinks he wasted his life to be living there for so long. However, while reading it, you...
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