Hello there,

Im from scotland, and im sitting my HIGHER english exam on FRIDAY!!!

Im a bit stuck at a few things.... its pretty hard for me.

I have been reading the posts about My Last Duchess, and they proved verrrry helpfull!

So... im going to post another poem which i cannot find reviews for anywhere... Reasons For Attendance - Philip Larkin.

The trumpets voice, Loud and authoritive,
Draws me a moment to the lighted glass
To watch the dancers - all under twenty-five -
Shifting intently, face to flushed face,
Solemnly on the beat of happiness.

- Or so i fancy, sensing the smoke and sweat,
The wonderful feel of girls. Why be out here?
But then, why be in there? Sex, yes, but what
Is sex? Surely, to think the lions share
Of happiness is found by couples - sheer

Inaccuracy as far as im concerned.
What calls me is that listed, rough-tongued bell
(Art, if you like) whose individual sound
insists i too am individual
It speaks; I hear; others may hear as well,

But not for me, nor I for them; and so
With happiness. Therfore I stay outside,
Believing this; and they maul to and fro,
Believing that; and both are satisfied,
If no one has misjudged himself. Or lied.

Any help is greatly appreciated, as I have not got many notes on the poem so far, a few mere annotations!

The review of My Last Duchess from ANNIE was amazing, something like that would be out of this world, but I realise that’s asking a lot!

Ok that’s the poem, heres a few POSSIBLE sample questions from previous exams, so you have an idea what I should know…?

Choose a poem about old age.
Explain what impression the poet creates of old age and discuss how eddectively the impression is created.
In your answer refer closely to at least two of: Theme, imagery, word choice, structure, mood and any other appropriate feature.

Choose a poem which you think could be described as a ‘quiet’ or ‘reflective’ poem.
Show how the poet has achieved this effect and discuss to what extent you find it a suitable way of dealing the subject matter in the poem.
Refer to mood, theme, sound, imagery, rhythm or any other appropriate feature.

Choose a poem that explores lonliness or isolation.
Show how the poet explores the theme and discuss to what extent your appreciation of the theme was deepend by the poets treatment.

Thanks mcadam
Hello NHF, welcome to English Forums!

My Last Duchess is a 'bookish' poem, so it helps to know a little about the background. This poem is different; I would say that the only 'external' fact you need to know is that Larkin finished writing it in December 1953 – on the 30th December, in fact.

So I'd suggest we approach it slightly differently. Here are a few questions that should help you to think about what the poem does – just give a few words in answer to each. Don't worry if you can't think of anything to write.

The trumpet's voice, loud and authoritive, ] What kind of music is Larkin talking about?

Draws me a moment to the lighted glass
To watch the dancers - all under twenty-five - ] Where do you think this is all taking place?

- Or so i fancy, sensing the smoke and sweat,
The wonderful feel of girls. ] What do you think he means by 'the wonderful feel of girls'?

Why be out here? ] Where is he, when he says he's 'out here'?

But then, why be in there? Sex, yes, but what
Is sex? Surely, to think the lions share
Of happiness is found by couples - sheer

Inaccuracy as far as im concerned. ] What is he implying here?

What calls me is that listed, rough-tongued bell ] What does he mean by 'bell'?
(Art, if you like) whose individual sound
insists i too am individual
It speaks; I hear; others may hear as well,

But not for me, nor I for them; and so
With happiness. Therfore I stay outside,
Believing this; and they maul to and fro, ] What does 'maul' tell you about the way Larkin looks at the dancers?

Believing that; and both are satisfied,
If no one has misjudged himself. Or lied. ] What do you think about this last line? The rhythm, for instance?


(Sorry if these questions are too hard or too simple for you. It's just a question of finding out what you know so far, so we can help you more easily. )

MrP
what is the name for starting a poem with a hyphen? i am doing reasons for attendance at standard grade and need to know this as it shows hesitation and insecurity
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
MrPedanticMy Last Duchess is a 'bookish' poem,

What did you mean by 'bookish'?

In reason's for attendance Larkin juxtaposes several ideas which can simply be condensed to his struggle to please his contemporary reader (interested more in the sensual experience of poetry) or his victorian readers (interested more in the physical beauty of poetry). You could also interpret this poem as a struggle to find happiness. Wether happiness can be achieved through the sensual advantages of a significant other or through the beauty of classic art.