poet Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

#106 on top 500 poets

The Old Fools

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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Comments about The Old Fools by Philip Larkin

  • Steve Campsall (1/21/2008 12:35:00 PM)

    The idea that Philip Larkin sterotypes anyone is very far from the truth and reveals a lack of understanding of what he is saying. This is a wonderful poem written by one of our most far-seeing and human writers.

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  • José Vaz (11/11/2007 5:46:00 AM)

    I hope to revive comment on such a moving poem, deserted for two years!
    When the million-petaled flower of being here folds in, horror becomes the essence of your being, until 'foolishness' takes over.
    There is no mocking, no stereotype in Larkin's poem: only a worded scream of anguish.
    Better to die young. Of such bliss I've been deprived. Must face the ignominy of pissing my pants. How? Larkin tells me: by getting lost in not being there. It's not you, it's some old fool.

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  • Bob Robinson (8/12/2005 11:14:00 AM)

    Re: last comment.
    OF COURSE he is afraid of getting old and dying! ! !
    I don't find the tone mocking, simply a truthful observation of ageing/death as he sees it.
    Larkin was not young when he wrote this, so if he does use a sterotype, which I don't think he does, he would certainly be including himself.
    The last two sections of this poem are brilliant, moving, depressing and great poetry.

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  • Ellie Tomlinson (3/9/2005 12:24:00 AM)

    Here Larkin seems to stereotype the eldery in a mocking tone- maybe he is afraid of growing old?

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