Compcompare the Ways in Which Larkin and Abse Write About Place.

1567 words 7 pages
Compare the ways in which Larkin and Abse write about place. You must include detailed critical discussion of at least two poems by Larkin in your response.
In timed conditions
Gemma N

Larkin and Abse both write about places in a very different, very unique style. One the one hand Larkin talks about the places of his past and how they are no longer accessible; the changing of a beautiful, unspoilt place to something short of an eyesore; a pace he is in but does not feel he belongs and even places within his mind. Alternatively Abse talks longingly of the places he once lived in, and how upsetting it is to find they are no longer the same. Some examples of the copious amount to choose from include Here, Mr Bleaney and Sunny Prestalyn,
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In addition, the fourth stanza describes the tenant “stuffing” his “ears with cotton wool”. By the persona doing this, he is dulling one of his five senses to the outside world around him, making him seem as though he is in an insufferable place where you simply cannot bear the full force of such a situation, instead just wanting to escape. Moreover, one could argue that the bed is justified as a place in itself, a place of warmth and security; a place where you can relax. However, Larkin portrays the bed in Mr Bleaney to be the exact opposite of this. Larkin’s persona watched the “frigid wind” and lay on the “fusty bed”. This juxtaposition suggests two things. Frigid is ambiguous, one may refer to it as someone lacking warmth however one may also refer to one who is unable or unwilling to respond sexually as frigid. This juxtaposition therefore suggests that this place, Mr Bleaneys bed, was not a place of love and passion but a “frigid” bed of a lonely man.

Alternatively Dannie Abse writes about places with a heavy heart; he cannot now feel like he belongs, yet dissimilarly to Larkin, this bothers him. One example of this is in Last Visit to 198 Cathedral Road. The simile “When like a burglar” in the first line insinuates that, although he returns he feels unwanted and even more so, does not feel like he belongs. He no longer knows his


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