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Docs en anglais
publié le 19/07/2012
Document de 4 pages au format WORDTweeter
This commentary examines the poem Here by Philip Larkin. The text was studied in the first year of a degree in English (French university) but the commentary will be useful to all of those interested in Larkin's works.
The first stanza offers glimpes of meagre pastures, an autumnal tableau (skies, scarecrows, haystacks, hares and pheasants) and a river. Then, the description focuses on an unnamed "large town" in the two following stanzas, offering snapshots of the commercial life of the city and its architecture (notice the number of compounds). The last three lines of stanza 3 and stanza 4 lead us outside town to "villages" and a natural world characterized by beauty, spareness and unobtrusiveness.
Description of place is never static but espouses the swerving movements of the train. Jolting along the track, the subject also shifts from one impression to another. Displacement is mostly achieved through metonymy. The scenery is evoked by metonymic and synecdochic detail ("harsh-named halt", "skies and scarecrows...", "gull-marked mud", "domes and statues...", "their desires–/Cheap suits, red kitchen-ware, sharp shoes, iced lollies..."). The middle stanzas in particular seem to be observed with the eye of a documentary writer or a sociologist. There are fewer metaphors: "solitude of skies", "flat-faced trolleys", "push though plate-glass swing door to their desires", "pastoral of ships" that typically conflate town and country ("pastoral of ships"), the human and the non human ("solitude of skies", "flat-faced trolleys"), the abstract and the concrete (push... to their desires).
Metonymy: figure of speech in which the literal term for one thing is applied to another to which it has become closely associated. E.g. the "crown" for a king. In Larkin's poem, the commodities bought in the supermarket by "residents from raw-estates" are metonymies for "their desires". In synecdoche a part of something is applied for the whole or the whole is used to signify a part (...)
I) Description of the poem
II) What sorts of place are described in Larkin's poem?
III) The deictic here
IV) A brief note for a comparative reading of Marvell's and Larkin's poems
Docs en anglais publié le 19/07/2012
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