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Wires -- Philip Larkin

Guest poem submitted by Vikram Doctor:
(Poem #1070) Wires
 The widest prairies have electric fences,
 For though old cattle know they must not stray
 Young steers are always scenting purer water
 Not here but anywhere. Beyond the wires

 Leads them to blunder up against the wires
 Whose muscles-shredding violence gives no quarter.
 Young steers become old cattle from that day,
 Electric limits to their widest senses.
-- Philip Larkin
Have we run Larkin's Wires? It's the antithesis of Lindsay's poem or more
precisely, perhaps, its explanation. I suppose it's the common bovine
imagery that's making me imagine a link, but Larkin's poem can be seen as an
explanation of how the young that Lindsay sorrows for end up this way. It
is, of course, characteristic that Larkin takes the pessimistic view, while
Lindsay offers, if not exactly optimism, a plea to think that way.

Vikram.

[Minstrels Links]

The Lindsay poem Vikram is referring to is
Poem #1069, "The Leaden-Eyed" -- Vachel Lindsay

For other poems by Philip Larkin, see Poet #Larkin on the Minstrels website.

[thomas adds]

Do note the rhyme scheme -- abcd dcba. I don't think I've seen that one
before...

37 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Harrington Anna said...

The rhyme scheme purposefully reinforces the idea that we are trapped within the same wires as the cattle by trapping us within the 4 layers of rhyme. Figuratively, we are trapped in the tiny space between paragraphs, not only by the 4 layers of rhyme but also by the fact that the 4th and 5th lines both end with "wires"

Anna

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