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Next, Please Analysis



Author: poem of Philip Larkin Type: poem Views: 25


Always too eager for the future, we
Pick up bad habits of expectancy.
Something is always approaching; every day
Till then we say,

Watching from a bluff the tiny, clear
Sparkling armada of promises draw near.
How slow they are! And how much time they waste,
Refusing to make haste!

Yet still they leave us holding wretched stalks
Of disappointment, for, though nothing balks
Each big approach, leaning with brasswork prinked,
Each rope distinct,

Flagged, and the figurehead wit golden tits
Arching our way, it never anchors; it's
No sooner present than it turns to past.
Right to the last

We think each one will heave to and unload
All good into our lives, all we are owed
For waiting so devoutly and so long.
But we are wrong:

Only one ship is seeking us, a black-
Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back
A huge and birdless silence. In her wake
No waters breed or break.


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




.: :.

The poet uses armada.
What does the poet want to convey thru\' it?

| Posted on 2012-05-15 | by a guest


.: :.

Almost, but not quite to my mind. Larkin points out that we always have a multiplicity of hopes, that 'spring eternal', many of which change to expectation and even anticipation. The hopes are all promises made by no-one, merely assumed by ourselves, so approach like ships towards a harbour. But then they do not dock, they keep going past for they were not promised to us ‘but thinking made it so,’ and the facts burst on us and leave us just the stalks without the expected flowers. But, no mind, there'll be another along in a minute, perhaps even three at once.
The only thing certain in life, aside perhaps from taxes, is death. Whatever your hopes may be, the only thing you can really expect is death. Religions may offer you other well-delineated ("every rope") hopes for after death, but these are promises just as airy as the ones we made for ourselves, and only death can be guaranteed actually to come, and with nothing in its wake.
And it will surprise you.

| Posted on 2010-04-14 | by a guest


.: Next, Please :.

In this poem Larkin is criticising the tendency of people to always look to the future while always neglecting the present.
In the first two lines he sets a critical tone, saying that we are 'too eager' and pick up 'bad habits'. He takes on this persona and describes our wishes as 'always approaching'; this implies that they never actually arrive.
The poem is dominated by the image introduced in the second stanza, that of our hopes as 'a sparkling armada of promises' that approaches the 'bluff' we all stand on. We ironically reflect on 'how much time they waste' when it is us wasting our lives by not living in the present.
These ships 'never anchor', leaving us 'holding wretched stalks of disappointment'. Larkin chooses this metaphor because a stalk represents the potential of a flower, just as we are left with only potential and no time to fulfil it.
The poet says that 'right to the last' we think that each ship will 'heave to and unload/ all good into our lives'. This means that right up to our death, we do not learn from our mistakes.
In the last stanza Larkin describes the only ship we have not been searching for, 'a black sailed unfamiliar' that represents death. He describes this ship as 'towing at her back/ a huge and birdless silence' making it seem eerie and sinister. These qualities are particularly emphasised by the brevity of the last sentence 'In her wake/ No waters breed or break.'

| Posted on 2008-05-19 | by a guest


.: Next, Please :.

In this poem Larkin is criticising the tendency of people to always look to the future while always neglecting the present.
In the first two lines he sets a critical tone, saying that we are 'too eager' and pick up 'bad habits'. He takes on this persona and describes our wishes as 'always approaching'; this implies that they never actually arrive.
The poem is dominated by the image introduced in the second stanza, that of our hopes as 'a sparkling armada of promises' that approaches the 'bluff' we all stand on. We ironically reflect on 'how much time they waste' when it is us wasting our lives by not living in the present.
These ships 'never anchor', leaving us 'holding wretched stalks of disappointment'. Larkin chooses this metaphor because a stalk represents the potential of a flower, just as we are left with only potential and no time to fulfil it.
The poet says that 'right to the last' we think that each ship will 'heave to and unload/ all good into our lives'. This means that right up to our death, we do not learn from our mistakes.
In the last stanza Larkin describes the only ship we have not been searching for, 'a black sailed unfamiliar' that represents death. He describes this ship as 'towing at her back/ a huge and birdless silence' making it seem eerie and sinister. These qualities are particularly emphasised by the brevity of the last sentence 'In her wake/ No waters breed or break.'

| Posted on 2008-05-19 | by a guest




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