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I Remember, I Remember Analysis

Author: Poetry of Philip Larkin Type: Poetry Views: 545

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The Less Deceived1954Coming up England by a different line

For once, early in the cold new year,

We stopped, and, watching men with number plates

Sprint down the platform to familiar gates,

'Why, Coventry!' I exclaimed. 'I was born here.'I leant far out, and squinnied for a sign

That this was still the town that had been 'mine'

So long, but found I wasn't even clear

Which side was which. From where those cycle-crates

Were standing, had we annually departedFor all those family hols? . . . A whistle went:

Things moved. I sat back, staring at my boots.

'Was that,' my friend smiled, 'where you "have your roots"?'

No, only where my childhood was unspent,

I wanted to retort, just where I started:By now I've got the whole place clearly charted.

Our garden, first: where I did not invent

Blinding theologies of flowers and fruits,

And wasn't spoken to by an old hat.

And here we have that splendid familyI never ran to when I got depressed,

The boys all biceps and the girls all chest,

Their comic Ford, their farm where I could be

'Really myself'. I'll show you, come to that,

The bracken where I never trembling sat,Determined to go through with it; where she

Lay back, and 'all became a burning mist'.

And, in those offices, my doggerel

Was not set up in blunt ten-point, nor read

By a distinguished cousin of the mayor,Who didn't call and tell my father There


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

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| Posted on 2012-01-18 | by a guest

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William Blake was an accomplished poet, who managed to successfully write two different sets of poems, Songs Of Innocence in1789 and Songs Of Experience in 1794. Many of the poems in ‘Songs Of Innocence’ had a contrasting partner in ‘Songs Of Experience’ told from totally dissimilar perspectives with different meanings.

Comparing ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ from ‘Songs Of Innocence’ and ‘Songs Of Experience’, the poems are similar in subject with Blake using a child chimney sweep in both to emphasise the miserable urban life of an underprivileged family during the industrial revolution. Both poems are written in Blake’s typical style with simple but effective rhyming couplets. The two poems are also similar in that both are being told from a child's point of view though the poems have little else in common after that. One most important difference is clear, in the ‘Innocence’ poem the child is unaware of the implications that the story he is telling beholds, whereas in the ‘Experience’ version the child is a streetwise child of the slums creating a darker tone.

In both ‘Innocence’ and ‘Experience’ we can see the contrast of each revealing the story of a chimney sweep. Putting audiences into shock revealing them to the evil of child labour that was throughout London during the Industrial Revolution. The ‘Innocent’ piece of writing is a bright poem displaying the naive optimism of the child telling the story. Blake also reinforces the positive tale with the moral ‘if they all do their duty they will fear no harm’. Although the ‘Innocent’ piece may seem a little bright considering the circumstance, there is a dramatic irony in every peaceful statement, with evidence of the dull misery experienced by the child.

Throughout Songs Of Innocence there is a vivid use of imagery, ‘Then down the green plain, leaping, laughing they run, And wash in a river and shine in the sun.’ This line clearly is explaining life after death for the children. When the sweeps are set free from their ‘coffins’ this symbolises the deathlike confinement in the chimneys that the children clean being set free from their imprisonment. The angel in the poem also is a symbol. She may symbolise joy promising the boys a better life but in this sense the better life signifies their death. This is also another instance of imagery in the poem. There is also use of repetition at the beginning of each ‘Innocence’ and ‘Experience’ poem. In ‘Innocence’ the young boy telling the story attempts to say sweep but says instead says weep, ‘and my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry ‘'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!’. This is an ironic comment on misery emphasising the parents’ neglect of the child also highlighting the fact that the child is very young. Metaphors are also present, ‘they rise upon clouds and sport in the wind’, this particular line is an example describing the setting of heaven up high where they will live, be free and happy.

| Posted on 2005-02-24 | by Approved Guest

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