8 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2021
    1. One side will have to go

      Larkin now makes an appeal for religion. After calling religion and afterlife, "trick" and "specious," he rationalizes the practice of it. He almost gives back permission/support for believing in afterlives and other certainties, because the alternative is living in miserable fear. He knows that death poses the impossible question of "if meaningless death is the only certain, why live?" so he now justifies and validates religious rationalization. Also, he does this at the end of the poem, when the day is about to start, because he must justify it for himself too, in order to live and forget about it for the 9am-5pm. Again showing the cyclical nature of fearing death.

      Ignorance is bliss.

    2. A

      In this stanza, Larkin expresses how the thought/fear of death haunts people by cyclically stalking them quietly then striking big. Not only is this expressed literally, but through the tone and diction. For example, he goes from calm descriptions like, "small unfocused blur," to bold descriptions like, "furnace fear." Mirroring the structure of a day, 9am-5pm: ignoring the thought of death to being consumed by it at night, this stanza is a microcosm for the haunting and cyclical fear of death.

    3. No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel,

      This statement is italicized to denote that Larkin does not share this point of view on fear. The format change highlights that these are not Larkin's words, they are those of the "specious."

    4. Nothing to love or link with,

      Larkin notes what specifically we fear about death and in doing so highlights why we value life so much, "love or link." He proposes that the experience of life, while haunted by the thought of losing it, is exalted by the living of it.

    5. whined at than withstood.

      Again undermining religions threat of afterlife, Larkin argues that since there is no afterlife, there is no consequence to how one lives their life. Importantly, Larkin doesn't denote this as bad or good, this is an appeal to be free and live how you want because we are all going to the same place in the end.

    6. The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always.

      Larkin reminds us that death is the only certainty in life. Phrasing oblivion as a place we "travel to" and be "always" proposes that death is a relief to life.

  2. Apr 2019
    1. Much has been made over the symbolism of the Public Square’s corporate aesthetic, its ‘gaudy’ stairway monument, and the exclusive luxury of its mall. I believe this is overstated; New York has plenty of examples of luxury developments and amenities which also contribute to the fabric of the city, including Rockefeller Center, the World Trade Center memorial site, and Fifth Avenue. With time, these markers of status will ebb and a new development will claim the hyper-lux mantle.

      This is another example of the author rejecting popular criticism by leaders of the field. He tempers his comments towards the design of the space by mentioning other historic examples in the city.

      This may also be a connection to the general public who have embraced (as a novelty) the Hudson Yards. It gives the author a sense of reliability, compared to the highbrow disdain of art critics.

  3. Sep 2013
    1. (1) the speaker's power of evincing a personal character which will make his speech credible (ethos ); (2) his power of stirring the emotions of his hearers (pathos ); (3) his power of proving a truth, or an apparent truth, by means of persuasive arguments (logos )