Home Is So Sad by Philip Larkin - Literary Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1955 Words
Date:  2021-03-25


This is a short and sad poem that is based on Larkin's return to his family house. The poem starts by opening the simple declarative. By reading through the two stanzas, a reader notices that the poem lacks imagery and adjectives. The poet chooses this kind of description to the bare minimum as a way of making the poem more universal. The house being described by the poet is personified all through the poem. This personification is used to the sensitivity of the poem. During the writing of the poem, the poet personifies a home after it has been abandoned by its occupants- the family (Gioia 23). The poet describes the sadness and loss felt the home that refutes to accept that it has just turned into a building. Though the poem is short, it is full of emotions and also relatable to the reader. The feelings brought forward by the poem are those of the feelings of the house. The themes present in the poem are surprisingly full of nostalgia, disappointment, expectation, fear, loss, and rejection.

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The Emptiness and Universality of the House

The poet has started the poem with a short sentence Home is so sad and has created an impact to readers with simple caesura and language. The poet's use of simple wording of the poem, such as sad and see how it was is a clear reflection of the emptiness and the lack of life of the house. This further makes the poem to be universal in nature. This is because the poem could be someone's house which everyone can relate to (Kennedy 21). This particular simple distinction could be interpreted as showing that the house is genuine and it is not pompous and genuine enough about itself. The house in the poem is not even worried about the family occupants. The world around this house has changed yet the home where the house itself is somewhat frozen inside. Since the house stays as it was left, everyone can relate to leaving their house and being slightly surprised when one returns and finds the house as it was.

The possibility of this poem is that when the house is abandoned it longs to satisfy its motivation as a home 'deprived of anybody to if you don't mind it shrivels so, This exemplification of the home makes the reader thoughtful to it, the utilization of "wilt" further adds to the possibility that the house is alive. Thus, readers can identify with the house on the grounds that, the sentiments spoke to be parallel to us being home wiped out. The crevice between the two stanzas of the sonnet demonstrate the expelled tone, and could likewise mirror the house moaning through its agony. The main line of the second stanza depicts that the home cannot acknowledge that it no longer satisfies its motivation. The following line demonstrates that it began brimming with trust 'A blissful shot at how things should be,' the home respected a family and was prepared to satisfy its motivation, yet it wound up being loaded with disillusionment. This could connected to the topic of marriage, meaning that there is much guarantee in the underlying thought, yet it does not really convey the intended meaning.

Symbolism and Nostalgia in the Poem

The utilization of ' Home is So Sad helps the reader to remember the failure of life and dread of dismissal and the utilization of "shot" is about tossing an apple into a canister and missing. It is in this third line of the second stanza that the reader is particularly is educated, demonstrating exactly how separated the persona (home) is from human contact (Gioia 20). The utilization of the previous tense depicts that those times are gone now, and it is presently just a sad remnant of what it once was. The utilization of the words "you" and "Look" appear like the house requirements for individuals to take a gander at it and partake in its torment. The "photos" mirror the recollections and wistfulness that the house beholds, yet generally as the house, they are only a preview of what used to be. 'The music in the piano stool' additionally demonstrates the disregard that the house feels, the music has been secured yet at the same time longs to be played, pretty much as the house longs to be lived in; both of these symbolisms appear to be unprofitable (Paschen, Elise & Rebekah 15).

The last line is exceptionally typical, and it is the main utilization of depiction utilized in the sonnet is to demonstrate that it holds recollections. This intense completion bespeaks of the entire poem; the vase is void without blooms, pretty much as the house is unfilled without a family. Both are currently futile and are left feeling defenseless, solidified in time. The structure of the sonnet is devoid of meaning throughout the second stanza. The grammar is practically unrecognizable towards the end, demonstrating the end of the homes trust and in the end its own particular structure will begin to disintegrate.

The Finality and Desolation of the Home

Larkin begins the poem by making use of the word home rather than the house. The first sentence appears very blunt, since Larkin fails to refrain from giving the reader the requisite full emotion. The poet does not even bother to compare his poem by stating that it is sad as something else, where there is no need for smiling. This was not just a house, which is just a manifestation of the building where the house resides. It was actually a home wherein there were people who had care and love for one another. The poet thereafter goes on to give readers the current emotion at the present times- sadness. This becomes an utter desolation shown by the use of an adverb, which further intensifies some form of sadness. Home is not just sad, but it is very sad (Kennedy & Dana 19).

The poet has also described the manner and form in which the home remains. For this case, nothing has been altered or changed since the last time someone left. There is no intent whatsoever in the space, the major one being the fear of properly erasing a specified memory of the person who is not well-informed. According to Larkin & Anthony (18) there is lack of flicker of hope that the individual may return and even fill the space that is now vacated. The poet uses the effective word bereft; which both fulfils the rhyme pattern. Though it is not just an absence that is being endured. The line bereft of anyone left to please is used by the author to show that, what follows on the preceding lines is no longer. The home which is now left unchanged, and one which the one who is left, had some hope of winning the individual back. Even if death is presented as being part of life and mortality, the kind of desolation makes the reader feel unnatural. The theft being described in the poem cannot be forgotten nor taken as a strive thing. It is so consequential that this line is important, but the way this stanza ends, it only reveals the kind of emptiness that is there after the crime has occurred (Napierkowski, Marie & Mary 28).

The poet is keen to bring the reader in a quick remorseful state of mind especially when he uses the second person pronoun. Though it acknowledged as being a colloquial speech, and then he begins pointing to everything in the room. The things which the poet talks about are things with deep historical, the things that were parts of a life that has been transformed. The poet describes the sorrow and loss felt the home that refutes to accept that it has just turned into a building although the poem is short, it is full of emotions and also relatable to the reader. The feelings brought forward by the poem are those of the feelings themes that present in the poem are surprisingly full of nostalgia, disappointments. The poet makes it appear as though the type of pictures where there were the moments should be remembered for the ages to come. The poet makes readers think as though their ideas eminent from the poem are deepened and reinforced, and not just repeated (Bleakney & Kay 24).


Taken as a whole, Larkins poetry poses an effect of a sustained attack on the philosophical impracticality of romantic literature (Larkin & Anthony 34). The poem illustrates the poets choice of self-esteem and coolness, and a need to withdraw from fear. Apparently, the poem shows a desire for a purely secular type of secularism. The problem posed by Larkin is that, in his apparent rejection of modern idealism contradicted by the poem, the sense from the poem is that it could give a sense of active rebellion. In his book, Larkin continues his exploratory journey of the day to day human sense (Philip 23). Though the poets sense of the right combination of words is shown to be uncannily accurate. Based on the intense achievement signified within the entire poem, the vase provision of void without blooms, pretty much as the house is unfilled without a family provide a significant stance of futile measures which left the feeling defenseless as well as solidified in time. Based on the poet dialogues concerning the historical concerns that has been transformed as signified by the poet brands of appearance as though the type of pictures where moments should be recalled for the ages to come to initiates readers thinks on the eminent ideas from the poem are deepened and reinforcement.

Works Cited

Bleakney, Elaine, and Kay Ryan. Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry. New York: Abrams Image, 2009. Print.

Gioia, Dana. Barrier of a Common Language: An American Looks at Contemporary British Poetry. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003. Print.

Kennedy, X J. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Boston: Little, Brown, 1987. Print.

Kennedy, X J, and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.

Larkin, Philip, and Anthony Thwaite. Collected Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. Print.

Napierkowski, Marie R, and Mary K. Ruby. Poetry for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Poetry. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1998. Print.

Paschen, Elise, and Rebekah P. Mosby. Poetry Speaks Expanded: Hear Poets from Tennyson to Plath Read Their Own Work. Naperville, Ill: Sourcebooks, 2007. Print.

Philip Larkin - Larkin, Philip (Vol. 5) Contemporary Literary Criticism Ed. Carolyn Riley. Vol. 5. Gale Cengage 1976 eNotes.com 9 Nov, 2016 http://www.enotes.com/topics/philip-larkin/critical-essays/larkin-philip-1922-3

Slide, Anthony. Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Print.

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Home Is So Sad by Philip Larkin - Literary Essay Example. (2021, Mar 25). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/home-is-so-sad-by-philip-larkin-literary-essay-example

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