Happy December, Everyone!

This month, we’re celebrating our fourth birthday as a blog. Interesting Literature began life on 1 December 2012 (41 years, to the day, since Project Gutenberg was launched; though needless to say we’ve yet to match that site for popularity or sheer usefulness!). Since we began blogging about some of the more curious aspects of literature, this blog has grown to include a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, and – this year – a book, The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History (which Amazon UK are still selling for the obscenely cheap price of £3.99!). Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Going’

A summary of a short Larkin poem

‘Going’, originally titled ‘Dying Day’, is one of Philip Larkin’s earliest mature poems, written in 1946 and published in his 1955 volume The Less Deceived. At once plain-spoken and strangely elusive, ‘Going’ is a lyric about one of the most common themes of Larkin’s poetry: death. You can read ‘Going’ here; below is our analysis of it.

In ten unrhymed lines, ‘Going’ explores death without ever mentioning it by name, instead referring to it, slightly elliptically, as ‘an evening’ that is ‘coming in’. Immediately we have a contrast: something is ‘coming’ but, as the title makes clear, something is also ‘going’: life itself. Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15: ‘When I consider’

A reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15

‘When I consider every thing that grows’: so begins William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 15, another example of the Bard’s ‘Procreation Sonnets’ addressed to the Fair Youth. In this post we offer a brief summary and analysis of Sonnet 15, focusing on the poem’s language, imagery, and overall meaning.

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory; Read the rest of this entry