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This be the verse
#1. “ This be the verse “ by Phillip Larkin, is an interesting piece using a variety of the great literature criteria. The first thing I noticed in the passage was the use of the “F” word, which added a feeling of seriousness and some real emotion that grabbed my attention. The next thing I noticed was how Larkin addresses the excerpt to the reader or as he states it “you” or “your” and then proceeds to create rhyme throughout the poem. In addition the picture or image that the author created for me felt as though it might have been set in the old world wear top hats and suits were common dress and also might have displayed the area that Larkin grew up in. On the other hand the term soppy-stern which was often used to describe parents in the early 1900s as they were said to be discipline and strict with a sentimental mushy side to them. Next I notice a change in tone with word usage and ends up leaving me with a scientific feel by using a comparison to the coastal shelf. Shifting to the end of the work, the author makes a statement, which for me was kind of a hidden message or a sarcastic remark. I mean lets face it no matter how children receive it parents always tend to do something that they are held accountable that may be interpreted positively or negatively. We have all heard teenagers blame their parents for anything that doesn’t swing their way. I think this poem definitely contains enough of the criteria to be considered real literature. Universal to say the least, teenagers all over the world are probably feeling and experiencing some of these thoughts and feelings as we speak. I believe Larkin is just letting them no they are not alone, as he is one of or was one of them.

#2. The story “ Simple recipes “ shares many similar traits with Larkin’s poem “This be the verse “. Simple recipes highlights flaws that most people carry throughout life, which were probably modeled from their parents and continue to pass them down to their children. The theme in this short story deepens as it is recited through the eyes of a child who is witnessing the harsh realities of the way her family functions. Eventhough the two pieces share a connection, such as, the theme of the impeding battle that many children encounter with their parents during the early stages of adolescents. In addition, how we develop our personalities from these experiences and tend to treat others the way we have been treated. On the other hand “ Simple recipes “ seems to broaden its scope by encompassing cultural identity into the mix as well. The complications rose in “ Simple recipes “ by keying off the child’s innocence and describing what she sees daily and how she interprets right from wrong. In my opinion the father in “ Simple recipes “ did exactly what Larkin’s poem described and obviously was disciplined in the same manner that he was disciplining his son.

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You have made some interesting observations. I also noted the use of the term soppy-stern. This is a very old fashioned way to describe folks considering that the poem was written in the 1970's not the 1870's. Perhaps Larkin is telling us that each generation thinks its miles past the last and our parents are very outdated. I did and am now a parent of a teen myself. I know exactly what she thinks :)

I like your comment on Larkin making others feel as though they are not alone, that he was there at one point in his life as well. I like how you brought up the child's innocence in your second paragraph. I also saw this in the short story, maybe because i work with children but that part really hit home for me. I thought it was very story powerful partly because it was written from an innocent image.

I love your interpretations, and I agree completely with the mention of sarcasm in Larkin's final words. Also, as you pointed out, the theme crosses cultural, as well as historical, boundaries. Truly universal.

Good observations, but a little general. Try always to tie your discussion of broad ideas to specific examples in the text. But you are on the right track!

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