Wild Oats By Philip Larkin Essay

1372 words - 5 pages

"Wild Oats" AnalysisThe title of this poem is derived from the expression 'To sow your wild oats'. It was culturally accepted by men at the time, that before marriage, men would be allowed to indulge in many sexual relationships with many women. The reasoning behind this is that if a man is not able to sow his wild oats, he will become anxious during his married years and begin to cheat on his wife. This story is told by Larkin aged 40, when he is still unmarried, and in this poem, he looks back to is younger days when he was around 20 years old. The poem describes one of his relationships in which he failed miserably. 20 years on from this event, he still has photos from it, but not of the girl he had a relationship with, but of her prettier friend.This prettier friend is immediately described as "A bosomy English rose". This hints at how extremely beautiful she is and how Larkin considers her at the height of beauty. Larkin calls her "beautiful" and that is what he defines her as in his mind. He also remembers her very precisely even after 20 years, "I believe/ I met beautiful twice" and the fact that he remembers her so precisely shows how strong an impression she made on him. He also thinks that no one ever had any woman as beautiful as her, "I doubt/ If ever one had like hers". It is suggested that she knew she was superior (looks wise) to him, " She was trying/ Both times (so I thought) not to laugh"; this shows how she perhaps found it comical that Larkin was trying to charm her. But perhaps, Larkin is just being paranoid here, and in fact she was just behaving normally.We find out at the end of verse 1 that even though he was much more attracted to "beautiful" he chose her less attractive friend to go out with, "But it was the friend I took out". Perhaps, he was intimidated by "beautiful" and her looks; and her friend was someone he found easier to relate to "her friend … I could talk to". This suggests that he was at ease and felt more confident around 'beautiful's' friend. His girlfriend is described as "her friend in specs" and this suggests that she is very bookish because she wears spectacles. Also he seems very dismissive about her: she is secondary to "beautiful" as she is "beautiful's" friend, rather than "beautiful" as her friend. His dismissive attitude is also seen in the dramatic contrast between the description of "beautiful" and his girlfriend; he suggests that his girlfriend is intelligent but also slightly ugly. The last line of verse one is developed into a punch line anticlimax: "But it was the friend I took out" - he spends the whole of the stanza describing beautiful and her beauty, but ends up with "her friend in specs".Larkin says he wrote "over four hundred letters" in their relationship of "seven years". He even bought his girlfriend a "ten-guinea ring" for engagement. This shows how committed he was to their relationship and how serious their relationship was (it lasted for seven years). But even though he...

Find Another Essay On Wild Oats by Philip Larkin

Autobiography at an Air-Station by Philip Larkin

1611 words - 6 pages Autobiography at an Air-Station by Philip Larkin Progress is in the eye of the beholder. Throughout the years society has forced nature out of its life and has instead adopted a new mechanical and industrialized lifestyle. Technology may be deemed as progress by some, where it is thought of as a positive advancement for mankind. Yet technology can also be a hindrance for society, by imposing itself on society and emptying the meaning out

Poem : "Mr. Bleaney" by Philip Larkin - analysed in full

938 words - 4 pages and fusty give an air of restraint and stiffness, and maybe impotence and lack of self belief. Personifying such words builds up a character who is dull, flat, uninspired and pathetic. It fits Mr Bleaney perfectly.The last stanza bears the moral from Philip Larkin, stating that what we do with our lives reflects our character: "How we live measures our own nature." Also, the mysteriousness surrounding the disappearance of Mr Bleaney is dredged up

A Comparison of 'Afternoons' by Philip Larkin and 'Churning Day' by Seamus Heaney

719 words - 3 pages There are only a few similarities between 'Afternoons', by Philip Larkin, and 'Churning Day', by Seamus Heaney. These feature mainly in the structure of the two poems. They both use enjambment for the whole length of the poem, with just one end-stopped line present in each. Enjambment gives both poems a sense of continuous movement. This is appropriate in 'Churning Day' as it represents the motion of the person churning the butter. It also makes

Compare and Contrast of‘‘Binsey Poplars’’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins and ‘‘The Trees’’ by Philip Larkin

2136 words - 9 pages Choose two of the poems given in the handout . Compare and contrast these two poems (‘‘Binsey Poplars’’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins and ‘‘The Trees’’ by Philip Larkin), paying close attention to their language and form. In a recent article in The Guardian, Billy Mills writes, ‘Trees have been putting down roots in poetry for centuries’, and indeed there are as many poems about trees as there are species of trees themselves. As someone who grew

Poem Comparison of Mr bleaney by Philip Larkin and In Memory of My Grandfather by Edward Storey

1284 words - 5 pages Poem Comparison of Mr bleaney by Philip Larkin and In Memory of My Grandfather by Edward Storey The two poems that will be conveyed and compared will be 'Mr Bleaney' (by Philip Larkin) & 'In Memory of My Grandfather' (by Edward Storey). Both verses describe the character of the poem. The character in the poem on the Grandfather has admiration, but Mr Bleaney is disturbed. In this essay I will compare the character, poets

Philip Larkin

1573 words - 7 pages . Philip Larkin share his thoughts on illness and death in his work which includes the poem “Ambulances” and “Aubade”. In “Ambulances” Larkin convey the fact that human must all face death sooner or later. The poem is depressing and the title itself suggests something saddening. Larkin first gives relation to the everyday world by beginning the poem describing ordinary folks doing ordinary things. The imaginary in the first and second stanza are

In What Ways Does Philip Larkin’s Poetry Show His Attitude To Death?

2559 words - 10 pages In what ways does Larkin's poetry show his attitude to death? In Philip Larkin's poetry there is a profound sense of unease about death. Larkin, throughout his poetry, obviously contemplates the inevitable end that is death. In his poetry Larkin uses great observational skills, noting and writing about everyday circumstances in cinematic detail. With death, though, Larkin has nothing to observe. He cannot draw any precise conclusions about

Who far does Philip Larkin's "Afternoons" force the reader to reflect upon an a side of life to which you had never thought about

1136 words - 5 pages "Afternoons" is a melancholy poem, about the inevitability of change and the passing of youth. The poem, written by Philip Larkin, forces the reader to reflect upon the lifestyle of a young woman with a husband and family. Previously, I thought this would be a very fulfilling lifestyle; however, Larkin has changed my opinion on this matter. Although Larkin's thoughts on this life are completely biased, Larkin does make a valid point, which is

The Fluidity of Oats

1148 words - 5 pages The wild antecedent of oat, normally named as oats, grew within the geographic area of the Mideast. Domesticated oats appeared comparatively late within the Bronze Age Europe. Greeks and Romans thought of oats to be unhealthy wheat, and lots of cultures believed them to be higher suited to animals Oats derived from a weed of the first cereal domesticates wheat and barley. As these cereals unfold westward into cooler, wetter areas, this could

“Larkin rarely presents women in a positive light.” In the light of this statement, show the ways in which Larkin portrays women in his poems

1007 words - 4 pages "Larkin rarely presents women in a positive light." In the light of this statement, show the ways in which Larkin portrays women in his poems.Many poems in Philip Larkin's 'The Whitsun Weddings' are connected through one common factor: Larkin's seemingly contradictory attitude towards women. Although in many of his poems, it can be claimed that Larkin presents women rarely in a positive light, dismissing them as insignificant as a whole, there's

Respect Religion

824 words - 4 pages . West, Robert. "Here's The Church, Here's The Steeple": Robert Morgan, Philip Larkin, And The Emptiness Of Sacred Space." Southern Quarterly 47.3 (2010): 91-97. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. .

Similar Essays

Analyzing "Wild Oats" By Philip Larkin

1152 words - 5 pages Philip Larkin - “Wild Oats”The poem “Wild Oats” was written by a famous poet named Philip Larkin. The poem consists of three, eight line stanzas with each stanza describing a distinct period in his life. Philip Larkin used little sound effects and a minimal amount of rhyming to construct his poem. Rhyme, when it appears, is at the end of alternate lines such as, “doubt” and “out,” or “snaps” and

Afternoons By Philip Larkin Essay

1015 words - 4 pages Afternoons by Philip Larkin. A poem which reflects on the subject of marriage is 'Afternoons' by Philip Larkin. The poem deals with Larkin's view on young mothers watching their kids playing in a playground and on this he concludes that marrying young and having children young, lead to the mothers losing their identity and destiny. The techniques used by the poet such as theme, imagery and tone deepened my understanding of the issue

This Be The Verse By Philip Larkin

1306 words - 5 pages 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

The Old Fools, By Philip Larkin

870 words - 3 pages The twentieth century has provided the poetic universe with some of the most influential and prominent poets. The ideas and concepts conveyed by these poets have help to influence the works of other writers. Philip Arthur Larkin has been regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the latter half of the twentieth century. Most of Larkin’s poetry is condensed into four volumes of poetry: The North Ship, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun