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Maiden Name Analysis



Author: poem of Philip Larkin Type: poem Views: 3


Marrying left yor maiden name disused.
Its five light sounds no longer mean your face,
Your voice, and all your variants of grace;
For since you were so thankfully confused
By law with someone else, you cannot be
Semantically the same as that young beauty:
It was of her that these two words were used.

Now it's a phrase applicable to no one,
Lying just where you left it, scattered through
Old lists, old programmes, a school prize or two,
Packets of letters tied with tartan ribbon -
Then is it secentless, weightless, strengthless wholly
Untruthful?  Try whispering it slowly.
No, it means you.  Or, since your past and gone,

It means what we feel now about you then:
How beautiful you were, and near, and young,
So vivid, you might still be there among
Those first few days, unfingermarked again.
So your old name shelters our faithfulness,
Instead of losing shape and meaning less
With your depreciating luggage laiden.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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This poem actually refers to the marriage in London of Winifred Arnott(One of Larkin's former love interest he met in Belfast in 1950) and Geoff Bradshaw in 1954. and "five light sounds" in the poem actually just refers to Winifried Arnott

| Posted on 2014-10-30 | by a guest


.: :.

This is not a sonnet, I must agree. And yes, it is oddly delicate for Larkin. However, I\'m afraid there is one error in your comment. You say that it is about his wife, but that cannot be true. The reason why? He never married. Philip Larkin had some sort of issue with the idea of marriage and remaining with one person, and so remained unmarried for his entire life. It is still a lovely poem, however, although the person is unclear. Perhaps it is a poem about his mother? They seemed close, after all.

| Posted on 2011-06-23 | by a guest


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I think this poem is delicate and beautiful. It is a modest, self-depricating celebration of his love for his wife and their life together- a far cry from Larkin\'s normal judgemental cynicism. \"Thankfully confused by law with someone else\" is coy and almost saccharine and reminds us that Larkin was not just a grumpy skeptical librarian, he was also a lover. \"How beautiful you were,\" is instantly nostalgic and alludes to every moment wherein he knew he loved her. This poem is about new, exciting love and matured, faithful love; her maiden name is HER and THEM and their love. It\'s not boring and it\'s not rubbish and it\'s not a sonnet. A sonnet is a structure, it\'s FORM, not subject matter.

| Posted on 2010-09-15 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is delicate and beautiful. It is a modest, self-depricating celebration of his love for his wife and their life together- a far cry from Larkin\'s normal judgemental cynicism. \"Thankfully confused by law with someone else\" is coy and almost saccharine and reminds us that Larkin was not just a grumpy skeptical librarian, he was also a lover. \"How beautiful you were,\" is instantly nostalgic and alludes to every moment wherein he knew he loved her. This poem is about new, exciting love and matured, faithful love; her maiden name is HER and THEM and their love. It\'s not boring and it\'s not rubbish and it\'s not a sonnet. A sonnet is a structure, it\'s FORM, not subject matter.

| Posted on 2010-09-15 | by a guest


.: :.

This is hardly a sonnet. A sonnet requires 14 lines per stanza. This one has 7 per stanza, and it has 3 stanzas. If it had 2, it could be loosely considered a sonnet with a break in the center.
Also, there is rhyme following a ABBACCA structure. Extremely brilliant.
Furthermore, it is true that there is usage of iambic pentameter, but it is only apparent in the first stanza. After which, a freestyle but purposeful rhythm was used,
For example: 'Then is it scentless, weightless, strengthless, wholly...' (from stanza 2, line 5) This line uses trochaic pentameter instead of iambic, quickening the pace of the reading. It has almost an interrogative effect, culminating in a question mark within the next line (stanza 2, line 6, 'Untruthful?') The rhythm suddenly slows with a few unstressed syllables 'Try whispering it slowly' (unstressed in the 3rd to 5th syllable if you read it colloquially), which has the intended effect of slowing down the pace of reading, mirroring the content of the line.
Finally, while the poem tends to imply that a woman loses her 'young beauty' (stanza 1, line 6) and all her 'variants of grace' (stanza 1 line 3) during marriage, this cannot be further from the truth. In fact, a woman can grow in grace and beauty because of a healthy marriage. This poem, however, does accurately capture the poignant feeling that comes with being married into endless responsibility without sufficient love or gratitude from a husband. Seeing a woman in such a state would make 'us' nostalgically remember how 'we feel now about [that married woman] then [when she was still single]'(stanza 3, line 1) instead of appreciating the maturing refinement and elegance that she would possess if she had a healthy relationship with her husband.
I think this poem is brilliant. Also, I am male.

| Posted on 2010-02-22 | by a guest


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Are you male? If you are then you do not have to worry that you might change your name and lose your identity, you will live on in a programme, on lists etc under the same name forever. A married woman only has the memory, which over time people forget, she is not longer a genuine article. She is someone elses object.
This poem is not boring or even rubbish. It's structure is written using the sonnet form, something i would like to see you try, not easy! Each stanza has a different more ironic outlook that is typical of the movenment and postmodernist poets who were re-looking at the romantic literary movement with an added sense of irony.
I does however have a sense of hope, in the final stanza the feeling that whatever this couple stuggle through, they still have each other, they have been faithful to each other.(Unfingermarked- chase)
In conclusion, This poem is far from rubbish it uses clever language and may not rhyme but uses iambic pentameter, is addressed to another person (3rd person pronouns) all poetic devices that make this poem, with out question a sonnet.

| Posted on 2009-12-28 | by a guest


.: :.

i think that this is a very rubbish and borng poem

| Posted on 2009-10-20 | by a guest


.: :.

i think that this is a very rubbish and borng poem

| Posted on 2009-10-20 | by a guest




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