The Whitsun Weddings

  • Salem K. Hassan
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature book series (STCL)


In his middle age Larkin became more aware of the essence of existence and the problem of time. Time keeps on pressing heavily upon his thinking as he observes the change, mostly for the worse, taking place everywhere around him. By capturing moments of dissatisfaction with life, Larkin introduces in ‘Mr Bleaney’ a remarkable vision of that state when we are far away from the fulfilment of our wishes. This poem demonstrates the response one feels upon arrival at a new residence. It also depicts the life of the previous lodger by speculating on his belongings, the surroundings of the bed-sitting-room and a few remarks the landlady makes about him:

‘Mr Bleaney took My bit of garden properly in hand.’

Bed, upright chair, sixty-watt bulb, no hook….


Young Couple Stressed Vowel Early Electric Love Song Train Trip 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Michael Riffaterre, Semiotics of Poetry (London, 1980) p. 100.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Veronica Forrest-Thomson, Poetic Artifice (Manchester, 1978) p. 58.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Lawrence Durrell, Key to Modern Poetry (London, 1952) p. 37.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Donald Davie, Articulate Energy (London, 1955) pp. 41–2.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    Harry Chambers, ‘Laureate of a Fallen Landscape’, Phoenix (Spring 1964) p. 38.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Frederick Grubb, A Vision of Reality (London, 1965) p. 234.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    T. S. Eliot, On Poetry and Poets (London, 1957) p. 29.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    A. Alvarez, The New Poetry (London, 1973) p. 25.Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    J. Korg, Language in Modern Literature (Brighton, Sussex, 1979) p. 172.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    Donald Davie, Thomas Hardy and British Poetry (London, 1973) p. 3.Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    Bruce Martin, Philip Larkin ( Boston, Mass., 1978 ) p. 96.Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity (London, 1930) p. 14.Google Scholar
  13. 28.
    Philip Hobsbaum, A Theory of Communication (London, 1970) p. 219.Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    Colin Falck, ‘Philip Larkin’, in The Modern Poet, ed. Ian Hamilton (London, 1968) pp. 108–9.Google Scholar
  15. 33.
    Jonathan Culler, Structuralist Poetics (London, 1980) p. 167.Google Scholar
  16. 35.
    Anthony Thwaite, ‘The Poetry of Philip Larkin’, in The Survival of Poetry, ed. Martin Dodsworth (London, 1970) p. 48.Google Scholar
  17. 36.
    Philip Larkin, ‘Context’, London Magazine, vol. 1, no. 11 (February 1962) p. 32.Google Scholar
  18. 37.
    John Wain, ‘Engagement or Withdrawal?’, Critical Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 2 (Summer 1964) p. 175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 38.
    Terry Whalen, ‘Philip Larkin’s Imagist Bias’, Critical Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 2 (Summer 1981) p. 31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 41.
    Quoted in Wylie Sypher, The Ethic of Time (New York, 1976) p. 6.Google Scholar
  21. 42.
    T. S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood (Bristol, 1980) p. 49.Google Scholar
  22. 43.
    Harry Blamires, A Short History of English Literature (London, 1974) p. 429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 44.
    Jocelyn Brooke, Ronald Firbank and John Betjeman (London, 1962) p. 28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Salem K. Hassan 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salem K. Hassan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations