Ordinary Life and Lyrical Beauty in Philip Larkin's Poetry (Leaving Cert 2014 Exam Sample Answer)
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“Larkin is a perceptive observer of the realities of ordinary life in poems that are sometimes illuminated by images of lyrical beauty.”
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Support your answer with reference to both the themes and language found in the poetry of Philip Larkin on your course.
I wholeheartedly agree that Larkin has a way of shining a lyrical light onto seemingly mundane realities. His intricate analysis of the ordinary uncovers many dimensions and perspectives to the recurrent themes in his poetry – such as death and the transience of time and love – in a thought-provoking manner.
Although the ideas within many of Larkin's poems are complex, he masterfully presents them to the reader in a simple style, one coupled with dazzling, cinematic images. Through poems such as 'Ambulances', 'MCMXIV', 'At Grass', and 'An Arundel Tomb', he celebrates the familiar details of his ordinary English life, while also providing his readers with his profound and complex commentary on a range of issues.
'At Grass' features some of Larkin's simplest techniques, but also some...