Essay on This Be the Verse by Philip Larkin

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This Be the Verse by Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were sloppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Lately, I have read a good deal of poems by Philip Larkin, and one unifying factor that I have noticed is that Larkin never seems to use a filler. Every word in every one of his poems seems to be carefully crafted and placed, to the point where the flow and rhythm of …show more content…

church meetings) where such words are considered unacceptable, further narrowing the audience for this poem. That brings me to my third point: that the people who read such a poem know, whether consciously or not, that they are in a distinct group, and that this poem was written for them. This allows Larkin to establish a closeness with his readers, now that they know that he is writing for them. This also implies to the reader that Larkin is one of them, that he knows the reader well, because he is in the same social class. To sum it up, by using a word considered to be socially incorrect, Larkin has managed to establish more credibility with the reader, which inherently forces the reader listen up, and pay attention to what Larkin has to say. Lately, "modern" art and poetry are showing more and more "unacceptable" words. This is because such words have become synonymous with "truth." In other words, the general public seems to feel that if an artist is using curse words, then he must be "telling it like it is." Thus, using such words helps Larkin's credibility as a man who has seen and will now tell.

Larkin's poem is divided into three stanzas, each with it's own meaning and objectives. The first stanza is the introduction. As discussed above, the first stanza singles out a select group of people and builds Larkin's credibility with them. But beyond that, the first stanza also inspires several

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