Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

View Poll Results: Rate it below, or expand if no choice applies to you:

Voters
21. You may not vote on this poll
  • 5 Stars: A masterpiece

    0 0%
  • 4 Stars: A strong poem, but some elements didn't appeal to me

    5 23.81%
  • 3 Stars: A good poem, but it didn't move me to any great extent

    3 14.29%
  • 2 Stars: A flawed or uninspiring piece of work

    8 38.10%
  • 1 Star: Does absolutely nothing for me

    5 23.81%
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Rate-a-Poem: A Study of Reading Habits

  1. #1
    put on ignore Absolute Sage William Haskins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    underground
    Posts
    26,612

    Rate-a-Poem: A Study of Reading Habits

    By Philip Larkin
    1922-1985

    A Study of Reading Habits

    When getting my nose in a book
    Cured most things short of school,
    It was worth ruining my eyes
    To know I could still keep cool,
    And deal out the old right hook
    To dirty dogs twice my size.

    Later, with inch-thick specs,
    Evil was just my lark:
    Me and my coat and fangs
    Had ripping times in the dark.
    The women I clubbed with sex!
    I broke them up like meringues.

    Don't read much now: the dude
    Who lets the girl down before
    The hero arrives, the chap
    Who's yellow and keeps the store
    Seem far too familiar. Get stewed:
    Books are a load of crap.
    _____________________________

    Thorn Forest: A Gift for AW


    Check out the 2015 AW Poetry Contest


    PoisonPen.net
    Online Poetry Archive


  2. #2
    Bufflehead mkcbunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    2,347
    Yes, I am the 1-star rating. I found this one pretty hard to get through. The cadence, the subject—it just isn't smooth and metaphorical enough for me. I am also feeling pretty cranky this morning, so the world's looking fairly black-and-white today.

  3. #3
    Luftmensch Emeritus, A.D.D. Pat~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    6,817
    Yup, this one's a one for me, too. Even the rhyme and meter self-destruct in this one. (William...got any upbeat, socially redeeming poems coming up?)
    Pat

    Every writer is a skater, who must go partly where he would and partly where the skates carry himů ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Inspiration will find you, but it must find you working. ~ Picasso

    Website

    Life

  4. #4
    One of the most important people in the world kdnxdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    near to Dogwood Missouri
    Posts
    7,838
    This guy tried hard to write some poetry............I think he was "crying in his beer" when he wrote it. I'm sure alot of male types who followed this particular path see themselves in the piece. The whole wanting to be larger than life, the conquering, rebel, sex machine to prove his worth (to himself) at the cost of his being then ending up identifying with the mass of self-imposed losers drowning in self pity, living off self-constructed myths of lost grandeur. He probably gained some sort of notoriety or something. I guess I look at things more from a pscho/spiritual perspective.

  5. #5
    One of the most important people in the world kdnxdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    near to Dogwood Missouri
    Posts
    7,838
    To the guys credit: Maybe he wasn't writing from his own life perspective but rather an observation of people who took this life path and what the author perceived to be the inevitable consequences.

  6. #6
    Agent of Doom Unique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Outer Limits
    Posts
    8,862
    like the bunny says - the cadence is rather off-putting. I started to get into it, then - trip. Start over - trip. The last line s****d. Other than that, I liked it all right.
    Eat right, exercise, die anyway.

  7. #7
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    At some altitude
    Posts
    17,104
    I kept almost liking it. How very frustrating. Kind of like almost getting to sneeze.

  8. #8
    Lanisse
    Guest
    Knowing a little about Larkin's history and his approach to life, I can see where he was going with the "trip-step" rythmn I wouldn't rate this as a "masterpiece", but it is still a very strong poem, albeit from a very strange man with very wierd views on life :-)

    My favourite Larkin will always be "This be the Verse", if only because we got to say f**k to the teacher ;-)

  9. #9
    Untold stories inside Ralyks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    998
    Relieved to know I wasn't the only one who gave it a 2 or lower...

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    13th of never
    Posts
    2,497
    I don't think he was talking about doing these things at all. He was talking about reading about them, and identifying with the characters in the stories, living vicariously through them. As a dopey ignorant kid.

    The narrator is not the loser shuffling through the losses of his burnt-out stupid days. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Just the opposite. He's the person realizing the silly nature of that sort of thing, and of his earlier identifications. Life is more complicated than that, of course, and deeper. In comparison, his imaginative plunges through the worlds of fiction come up wanting. It's mostly a bunch of cliches: Get stewed: Books are a load of crap.

  11. #11
    Has a few recurring issues kborsden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Where opinions have a distinct aroma.
    Posts
    5,338
    interesting - and boring...forgettably memorable and uninspired reactionary claptrap.
    Kieran Borsden
    "to be born Welsh, is to be born--not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but with song in your heart, and poetry in your soul"



    Got to write an Englyn or 2

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW SinK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Universe, same as you.
    Posts
    267
    I found that one first reading I thought one; it seemed almost amateurish. I had the got it, lost it problem someone mentioned earlier. Then on re-reading it I found the rhythm just like that and it went from being amateurish to well written. A bit uninspiring but not horrible. Made me wonder how many poems I had misjudged like that on the basis of not taking enough time with my reading.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin MrZiggles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    29
    I gave this a 3. Wanted to give it a 4, but it's more 3 1/2. And I gave the Bukowski one a 4; this one isn't quite as good.

    I don't think the rhythm is that bad though. And the last line I interpret as comedic. He's a writer telling people to stop reading. That's actually my favorite part of the poem.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search