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Poems by Philip Larkin

             A great poem puts into words what we already know but had not thought of saying. How far and by what means has a poet you studied achieved this?.
             Philip Larkin .
             Larkin goes from general to specific as he takes a momentary experience of observing dancers and explores the meanings of being an individual that is detached yet has some sort of connection that makes him similar with others. The title "Reasons for Attendance" suggests the reasons people live referring to the different reasons as to why people live/ attend life; how different people have different forms of happiness. In this poem Larkin visits the experience most of us know of, about the longing of being in a social group that one is not a part of, yet finds comfort in the thought that they do not belong in the group where one's form of personal happiness cannot be achieved. This idea of individual to society is demonstrated through the two different perspectives of one situation. "The dancers "and the observer share opposing points of view towards life. He does this by using opposing imagery and metaphors as a form of describing the two perspectives. .
             The environment of the dancers' are filled with imagery of superficial luxury. "The trumpet's voice loud and authoritative" as the background symbolizes life and youth which is reiterated in the mention of the dancers' age, "(all under twenty five) .The parenthetical comment about age seems to emphasis the youthfulness. The room filled with "smoke and sweat", and "wonderful feel of girls", illustrates the atmosphere of the room with the dancers. The poet describes the dancers being observed as achieving happiness through communion and large socializations. The dancers are also described as "lions of happiness if found by couples", where they are described as being somewhat animalistic and this idea is reiterated in stanza 3 as the poet illustrates how "they maul to and fro".

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