In Church Going by Philip Larkin, a narrator has been bicycling through the English countryside and encounters a small church, still in use but at the moment empty. He enters into the church. His use of the term "another church" and additional information in subsequent stanzas suggests that he visits churches like this often. His description of the church at first seems almost irreverent, especially as he describes it containing "some brass and stuff" and refers to the sanctuary as "the holy end". Bu the end of the stanza, though, we notice that his attitude is not mocking or irreverent, as he describes:
… a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence.
Thus we have a sense that the rest of the poem will explicate the tension between the secular viewpoint the narrator prefers and the reverence nonetheless felt by the narrator.
The speaker of Philip Larkin's poem "Church Going" is stopping at a...
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