Posted at 12.18.2018
Larkin publicized his High House windows collection at the age of fifty-two in 1974. This is in an period where Larkin was heavily part of several English poets, known as 'The Activity' and it was understood that although Larkin was similar to the wants of Ted Hughes in that 'they share a pastime in describing the true materials world', Larkin concluded his poems in another way, i. e. 'Larkin is more interested in nature as a symbol, and as an aspect of Englishness. ' High Glass windows was motivated by the austerity and conservatism of the post conflict years. The 1960's was ten years where much change came about in Britain and teenagers in the 1960's were becoming more affluent and liberal. It was a time frame often called the 'sexual revolution'. A fresh generation was appearing and this new youth was starting to flourish. 'Vers de Societe' which translates 'social verse'
The High Windows collection handles many interlocking topics, such as children, death, age group and religious beliefs all affected by this new 'world'. These themes or templates are provided in both 'The Old Fools' and 'Vers de Societe', by using a variety of techniques.
'Vers de Societe' and the 'The Old Fools' are similar in that they are both fixated around some kind of recollection and loneliness and these feelings I believe are portrayed in the poems by Larkin venting his anger on the elderly. Within the first stanza of 'Vers de Societe' Larkin satirizes basic society and interpersonal discourse by stating 'My partner and I've asked a group of craps'. This colloquial diction only further emphasises the banality of communal life Larkin so firmly voices, but contrasting with this is actually the idea that perhaps the tone is one of Warlock-Williams and the utilization of italics would suggest this. Pursuing on out of this the shade changes and becomes even more coarse 'In a pig's arse, good friend. ' The use of bathos here adds to the sense of cultural life being imprisoning and dreary. In the 3rd stanza Larkin again comments on the banality of the 'masses of craps'. He speaks about how the conversation on offer is drivel 'straight into nothingness' and uses a synecdoche, 'stuffed/With forks and encounters' which provides negative connotations. Within the same stanza Larkin's solitude is displayed where he speaks of time spent 'Under a lamp'. The lamp symbolises the mindful mind where inability and remorse do not are present.
'The Old Fools' presents a style of the ageing process, 'your oral cavity hangs available and drools, /And you retain on pissing yourself, and can't remember'. This instils a sense of fear and loathing old and reflects the 'most severe of later years without flinching. It entails the physical ignominy of drooling and incontinence'.
Vers de Societe includes such lines as 'All solitude is selfish' and 'Virtue is sociable', which appear to be another tone reproaching the presenter for his behaviour. Explosion includes italicised lines being spoken by way of a priest - 'The dead go on before us. . . '
The Old Fools also contains reference to 'lighted windows' that stand for the recollections of somone's life
Vers de Societe uses the line 'participating in at goodness, like going to chapel. . . ', clearly suggesting that Larkin thinks religion to be a shallow misuse of time.
In 'The Old Fools" the theme of celebrating children is shown with the type metaphor "To create to bloom the million-petalled blossom to be here. " It shows Larkin's understanding of the beauty which children embodies and a stark contrast of ageist view where youth causes him distress.
The aspirations of junior are destroyed in comparison with the disintegration of life in 'The Old Fools' where all success and glory has been reduced to "being unsure of how, not hearing who, the energy of choosing gone".
Romantic or wrong idealism is shattered in Larkin's poetry; the quintessential views about the life are rejected through the utter realism of the provocative dialect and prosaic colloquial diction. In 'The Old Fools' midway through the depressing judgement of old age the "million petalled flower" is talked about and is subjected for the falsehood it is - a stereotypical idea - eventually revealing the inescapable fatality to come.
'The Old Fools' Larkin is dismissive and viciously denounces elderly people however the judgmental firmness changes as the poetic tone simplistically realises "we will find out" the juxtaposition of the tones emphasises the way the poetic tone of voice is relentlessly bleak.