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The Poetry of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin

The Poetry of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin

In reading poetry, from many different genres, its seems that politically motivated verse seems to dominate, next to love that is. It also seems that poets have a desire to live in a different time, a different place. No one ever seems to be content with the condition of their world, yet, I suppose that is in the nature of humans. We all want something better or something from the past that we can’t have. Wither it be the simplicity, the passion, the technology that we don’t have, the peace that once was or the greatness that has long been gone, poets that are political in nature suggest a very personal, yet pervading utopia. Two poets who, political in nature, that were born in the same year, lived in the same part of the world, and who attending the same college prove to be an interesting contrast to one another. Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin are both natives of England and are considered ‘Modernists’, but what they suggest isn’t a “better place” or a different time. Their work represents a change in attitude, from looking at what isn’t to looking at reality and what is.

Of course, each of these poets has a different perspective, for there is not one single motive, desire or drive that can be defined as the essence of life. One cannot describe someone’s work as being all or none of this or of that. What is interesting, though, is the subjective nature each poet has in their view of life and how that is portrayed in their poetry. Each one has a unique quality that sets them apart from the rest and each has characteristics that provide the reader with clues as to their perspective on life.

In reviewing the poetry of Amis, one can’t help but read Again…

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… Larkin, Philip. Collected Poems. Victoria: The Marvell Press; London: Faber and Faber, 2003. Print “Philip Larkin”. Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. 8 January 2009.

“Larkin Study Notes.” Web. 14 Apr. 2010. .

“Philip Larkin.” Academy of American Poets. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. .

“Philip Larkin.” New World Encyclopedia. 29 Aug. 2008. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. .

Mother Daughter Relationships – Family Relations in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club

Family Relations in The Joy Luck Club

One passage, from the novel The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, reveals the complex relations and emotions that are involved in families. This passage concerns the story of four Chinese women and their daughters. The author leads the reader through the experiences of the mothers as they left China and came to America. The daughters have been raised in America, as Americans. This is what the mothers had wanted although it also causes them great distress. This is illustrated in the passage I have chosen.

“My daughter wanted to go to China for her second honeymoon, but now she is afraid.

“What if I blend in so well they think I’m one of them?” Waverly asked me. “What if they don’t let me come back to the United States?”

“When you go to China,” I told her, “you don’t even need to open your mouth. They already know you are an outsider.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked. My daughter likes to speak back. She likes to question what I say.

“Aii-ya”, I said. “Even if you put on their clothes, even if you take off your makeup and hide your fancy jewelry, they know. They know just watching the way you walk, the way you carry your face. They know you do not belong.”

My daughter did not look pleased when I told her this, that she didn’t look Chinese. She had a sour American look on her face. Oh, maybe ten years ago, she would have clapped her hands – hurray! – as if this were good news. But now she wants to be Chinese, it is so fashionable. And I know it is too late. All those years I tried to teach her! She followed my Chinese ways only until she learned how to walk out the door by herself and go to school. So now the only Chinese …

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…mes, for all members, but it is also a support network that can be beneficial for everyone. I think that as the daughters got older they realized more and more how important family is, even though it can be a source of frustration at times.

Works Cited and Consulted

Feng, Pin-chia. “Amy Tan.” Dictionary of Literary Biography. Volume 173: American Novelists since World War II. Fifth Series.

Gale Reseach, 1996: 281 -289.

Heung, Marina. “Daughter-Text/Mother-Text: Matrilineage in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club.” Feminist Studies. Fall 1993: 597 – 613.

Schell, Orville. “Your Mother is in Your Bones.” The New York Times Book Review. 19 March 1989: 3,28.

Seaman, Donna, Amy Tan. “The Booklist Interview: Amy Tan.”‘ Booklist. I October 19%.: 256,257.

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Vintage Contemporaries. New York: A Division of Random House, Inc., 1991.

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