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Analysis for "The Whitsun Weddings" By Philip Larkin? Thank You :)Would anybody happen...

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cmiranda5151 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM via web

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Analysis for "The Whitsun Weddings" By Philip Larkin?

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Would anybody happen to know or have an analysis for the poem called "The Whitsun Weddings" By Philip Larkin? Or know the techniques within this poem?

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anzio45 | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:15 PM (Answer #1)

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I imagine it will not be easy for someone young and (probably) American to relate to this poem as it is quintessentially English. Whitsun weddings - I think there were tax reasons for so many marriages at a particular time of year (there's romance for you!) - possibly lasted up till the early 1960s but certainly not far beyond. I am not going to attempt an analysis here for space reasons but if you google 'whitsun weddings analysis' you will find some useful sites. I found a thoughtful and quite detailed one on page 2 of a site called Philip Larkin / Whitsun Wedding Comments.

My own feeling about the poem is that, beyond all the sensuous imagery and the apparently happy, jolly occasions that all these marriages and new lives now revel in, there is an underlying sense of pessimism, that somehow these weddings mark a watershed, a transition to a stage of life that will now proceed towards death. Look for the subtle references to this, even the apparently frivolous 'I nearly died', which presumably one of the girls says in reference to some embarrassing moment during the ceremony.

I hope you enjoy the poem eventually: it takes a bit of work but I think you'll find the sensuous description and the poet's detached wistfulness worth it.

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