Dublinesque Interpretation

  • Dark Savior
    12 years ago

    By Philip Larkin

    Down stucco sidestreets,
    Where light is pewter
    And afternoon mist
    Brings lights on in shops
    Above race-guides and rosaries,
    A funeral passes.

    The hearse is ahead,
    But after there follows
    A troop of streetwalkers
    In wide flowered hats,
    Leg-of-mutton sleeves,
    And ankle-length dresses.

    There is an air of great friendliness,
    As if they were honouring
    One they were fond of;
    Some caper a few steps,
    Skirts held skilfully
    (Someone claps time),

    And of great sadness also.
    As they wend away
    A voice is heard singing
    Of Kitty, or Katy,
    As if the name meant once
    All love, all beauty.


    I've read a lot of Mr. Larkin's work. He is a very little known french poet. His work is very contemporary. He died in 1985, so it is sad to say that he is no longer with us, but he leaves behind some of my favorite poems.

    Please, don't look at wiki for this. There is a blurb about the book in which it appeared called "high window" but I don't believe there is a wiki, but just incase.

    What do you believe the message behind this poem is? please share with us your Interpretation of the poem.

  • Beautiful Chaos
    12 years ago

    I actually like Larkin, one of my favorite poems is "Best Society".

    This one is obviously about funeral, the outsiders view. Confused about the mood of the following and maybe their true intent, were they really grieving or looking for a party? But then the line "And of great sadness also" makes me think they were celebrating the life that no longer was, finding some sense of joy in a painful moment.

  • Beautiful Chaos
    12 years ago

    I can't help but think the poem revolves around the death of a prostitute.

    "A troop of streetwalkers"

    Nice tasteless, I didn't think of that.

  • Dark Savior
    12 years ago

    John. Yes, I do mean by most on this site. Larkin was voted one of the 50 best contemprary poets.

    That's really interesting Tasteless. I'm not entirely sure on what the meaning of this poem is. This is why I posted it here. I was thinking that perhaps it was a nurse from the war who died(because of the Ankle-length, as they are forced to wear dresses of that time, then I thought back to funerals etc. they would have been religious, so it didn't make a difference they would have had to wear those dresses anyways).

    I'm impressed with your deduction of the poem tasteless.

    Thanks for the share of opinion. It's really a good poem, I agree with everyone there. I feel sad one verse and happy the next.