Philip Larkin

(9 August 1922 – 2 December 1985 / West Midlands / England)

Love Songs In Age



The text of this poem could not be published because of Copyright laws.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Philip Larkin's Other Poems

  • Aubade
  • Church Going
  • Faith Healing
  • Far Out
  • High Windows
  • The Old Fools
  • The Whitsun Weddings

Read poems about / on: daughter, spring, tree, water, time, song

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  • Kenan Ceylan (4/15/2009 9:52:00 AM)

    Whilst the poem is nostalgic, it is not about nostalgia and the association of memory with inanimate objects. As she 'relearn(s) how each frank submissive chord had ushered in' she has forgotten how to love. Each 'sprawling hyphenated word' and 'being young' highlghts the loss of time and her recollection of the old days. The use of caesura in:
    'But even more the glare of that much-mentioned brilliance, love, '
    shows how she is trying to repress her emotions, but as a result is causing them to flow out. This changes towards the end as they have to be put away ('It had not done so then', but she cannot put them away because of her emotions ('and could not now') . What is most important to note at the end, however, is how Larkin's technical form creates meaning. The final line is monosyllabic. It makes each word a painful blow: rammed home. As the words also end with consonants, mainly, it is the slowests possible transiton through the line. This conveys how she does not want to be thinking what she was just thinking, which was that not only is she not going to fall in love again, as her best days are behind her, she says she does not think she may have experienced love; 'it had not done so then'. Her love never felt like the love in the love songs, because love does not exist. Love is a sham invented by the love songs, and so this 'love' 'could not now'. (Report) Reply

  • Cedric Bixler-Zavala (12/25/2008 6:03:00 PM)

    This poem is about nostalgia and how we associate time and memory with inanimate objects. She is listening to an old record and it reminds her of love well past, and again we see Larkin's tree metaphor springing up again. A very soft, gentle poem. (Report) Reply

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