Last Reviewed on July 9, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 405
When I see a couple of kidsAnd guess he's fucking her and she'sTaking pills or wearing a diaphragm,I know this is paradise
"High Windows" was first published in a collection in 1974. In 1960, the birth control pill was made available for contraceptive use. So while Larkin was writing this poem, there was a new culture of sexual liberation flowing through the younger generation, reflected in much that is familiar about the 1960s and early 70s. Larkin views this new freedom to explore sexuality as a "paradise" compared to his own youth, when there was no such highly effective means of preventing pregnancies.
Of course, in this envy, he sees only the need to prevent pregnancies in casual sexual relationships, and this ideology shifted greatly in the 1980s. But this poem predates this new era of knowledge and reflects a common thought of its day: the pill provides sexual freedom, and the younger generation is free to enjoy it.
everyone young going down the long slide
I wonder ifAnyone looked at me, forty years back,And thought, That'll be the life;
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that showsNothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
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