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.
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.
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.