A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘High Windows’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘High Windows’, the title poem of Philip Larkin’s fourth and final major poetry collection, is one of his most famous. The poem examines the new permissive society that flowered during the 1960s. Before proceeding to our analysis of ‘High Windows’, you can remind yourself of this poem (or discover it for the first time – a real treat) here.

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Toads Revisited’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Toads’, Philip Larkin’s celebrated analysis of the realities of everyday workaday drudgery versus a life of freedom and unemployment, appeared in his 1955 collection The Less Deceived. In 1962, he was inspired to return to the same subject – and the same metaphor – for a follow-up poem, ‘Toads Revisited’, which we’re going to subject to a bit of Interesting Literature-style close reading in this post.

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’ first appeared in Larkin’s third poetry collection, The Whitsun Weddings, in 1964. Like a number of Larkin’s poems – see ‘First Sight’, ‘The Mower’, and ‘Myxomatosis’ for three other notable examples – the poem is about animals, and specifically about the callousness with which humans sometimes act towards pets. You can read ‘Take One Home for the Kiddies’ here, before proceeding to our analysis below.

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Sunny Prestatyn’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Philip Larkin wrote ‘Sunny Prestatyn’ in 1962, and the poem was published two years later in his collection The Whitsun Weddings. One of a series of poems from that volume which treat the world of advertising and consumerism – see also ‘Essential Beauty’ and ‘The Large Cool Store’ – ‘Sunny Prestatyn’ uses the example of the holiday poster to explore and analyse our attitudes to advertising. You can read ‘Sunny Prestatyn’ here; below is our analysis of this comically dark, and darkly comic, poem.

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