Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘High Windows’

An illustration of why we revere his lines and metaphorically bow our heads before the Master

Interesting Literature

A reading of Larkin’s classic poem

‘High Windows’, the title poem of Philip Larkin’s fourth and final major poetry collection, is one of his most famous. The poem examines the new permissive society that flowered during the 1960s. Before proceeding to our analysis of ‘High Windows’, you can remind yourself of this poem (or discover it for the first time – a real treat) here.

Completed in February 1967, ‘High Windows’ was one of several poems which Larkin wrote around this time – during the so-called Summer of Love – which analyse the poet’s own middle-aged attitudes to the younger generation and the changing attitudes to sex. ‘Annus Mirabilis’ was written just a few months later, and ‘Sad Steps’, completed the following April, might also be partnered with ‘High Windows’ in this regard.

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Ronovan writes #134

She suffers the blows

that seem to please her husband

Silence shouts loudly

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Enlightenment 

A glimpse of the God
granted to her worshippers 
while her husband rests 

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…let there ALWAYS be libraries…

Matters close to the heart. Memories of childhood visits to the library rank highly in our, as we age, list of fondly-recalled thoughts. From the meanest small town library to the grandest major city edifice we should do all we can to preserve these National Treasures, the local library.

Seumas Gallacher

aaaaaa

ELDER PARK LIBRARY

…by any stretch of the measurement of age, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler is no longer a youth… I adulted around a-hem years ago… and having become in recent years an Author, I have more than a passing interest in the comparatively new debate as to whether books are better in print or on an eReader such as Auntie Amazon’s Kindlekindleand despite being part of the, (a-hem again), ‘older’generation, I have no negativity toward the modern downloaded reader versions of books… don’t mistake me – I still enjoy immensely the feel of a paper book in my hands, and even, yes, the smell of the paper and the gum paste thats binds the spine (emb’dy else remember ‘sniffing’ a new book?)… but times move on – the electronic age has become an imbedded part of our lives whether we embrace it or not –…

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Ronovan writes #133

The waters will flow

tear the heart from the mountain

sands of time are spawned

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Ronovan writes#132

A moth approaches,

with one light kiss to the flame

she will find heaven

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Toads Revisited’

I could read (into) Larkin till the cows need emptying, great interpretation which I feel should be re-generated for reading by all.

Interesting Literature

A summary of Larkin’s amphibious sequel

‘Toads’, Philip Larkin’s celebrated analysis of the realities of everyday workaday drudgery versus a life of freedom and unemployment, appeared in his 1955 collection The Less Deceived. In 1962, he was inspired to return to the same subject – and the same metaphor – for a follow-up poem, ‘Toads Revisited’, which we’re going to subject to a bit of Interesting Literature-style close reading in this post. You can read ‘Toads Revisited’ here.

Larkin once observed that ‘Deprivation is to me what daffodils were to Wordsworth’, and the title of Larkin’s poem subtly echoes, but also parodies, such Wordsworthian titles as ‘Yarrow Revisited’. ‘Toads Revisited’ carries a somewhat less glamorous edge: indeed, the toad was seized upon by the poet Marianne Moore as a metaphor for the ugliness that good poetry needs to contain. ‘Imaginary gardens with real toads in them’ was…

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10 of the Best Poems about Dogs

Bite-size treats for dog-lovers everywhere, a howling success

Interesting Literature

The best dog poems

Previously, we’ve compiled ten of the best poems about cats, so we thought it was time to complement that with a similar post about the best poems about dogs. We hope you enjoy these favourite classic dog poems – but have we missed off any favourites?

Alexander Pope, ‘I am his Highness’ dog at Kew’. Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was known as ‘the Wasp of Twickenham’ for his stinging and acerbic verses criticising and lampooning his enemies. The following couplet by Pope constitutes the entire poem – so it’s just two lines long:

I am his Highness’ dog at Kew,
Pray tell me sir, whose dog are you?

The poem was reportedly inscribed on the collar that was round the neck of a dog that Pope gave to the Prince of Wales in 1738. But the suggestion in the couplet, of course, is that everyone belongs…

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’

A fore-runner to the, “Pets aren’t just for Xmas,” campaign but in a longer, more thought-inducing form. A worthy read, as always.

Interesting Literature

A reading of a short Larkin poem

‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’ first appeared in Larkin’s third poetry collection, The Whitsun Weddings, in 1964. Like a number of Larkin’s poems – see ‘First Sight’, ‘The Mower’, and ‘Myxomatosis’ for three other notable examples – the poem is about animals, and specifically about the callousness with which humans sometimes act towards pets. You can read ‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’ here, before proceeding to our analysis below.

Start with the title, as so often in poetry (especially Larkin’s poetry, with their carefully chosen titles). ‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’ sounds like a slogan or tagline adorning a poster or other advertisement outside a pet shop: the advert addresses itself to the parents (with the cutesy and playful ‘kiddies’ carrying a twang of American commercialism, ‘kids’ having originated in the US as a slang term for children)…

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Ronovan writes #130

I turn, my surfboard 

spins then glides over the white 

turbulent water

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