What Ideas About Love and the Past Are Explored in ‘Love Songs in Age’ and ‘Wild Oats’ by Philip Larkin? Use ‘Down the M4’ by Dannie Abse to Illuminate Your Response. Essay

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Throughout Love Songs in Age and Wild Oats, Philip Larkin uses various literary techniques, such as imagery, structure and symbolism to convey certain aspects of love and the passing of time. These aspects are illuminated by Dannie Abse in Down the M4.
Love Songs in Age pictures a woman, perhaps Larkin’s mother, who has kept the musical scores of songs she used to play, perhaps on the piano, and rediscovers them after many years, when she is a widow. In the poem, Larkin uses lexical choice to explore how the idea of love is often distorted and in reality, love fails to live up to its promises of ‘freshness’ and ‘brilliance’. In the third stanza, the concept of ‘much-mentioned’ almost clichéd, love is presented in its ‘brilliance’, love
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However, this is contradictory because he settled for the girl in ‘specs’ as a result of knowing that the beautiful girl, who ultimately symbolises true love, was unattainable from the beginning. This unattainability is illuminated by the ‘perishable’ story Abse’s mother tells him every time he visits in Down the M4. This suggests that age, and perhaps attempts at love may well be repeated again and again, but eventually we all become ‘bored to love’.
Not only does Larkin explore love but he also explores the past and the swift movement from youth to adulthood. In Love Songs in Age, Larkin uses the movement of the sheets or records to symbolise the movement from love and youth to motherhood, widowhood and to the memory of youth in old age, which is depicted as awakening to a painful recognition of the failure of love’s promise to solve the loneliness of our lives, in both youth and age. Everyday domestic objects and places are captured in everyday expressions, ‘a tidy fit’, the poem then moves into highly wrought figurative language to express distance between our actions and thoughts and hopes of transcendence through love, ‘its bright incipience sailing above’, and finally moves into realisation of ‘It had not done so then, and could not now’. This shows how the past and present merge and our life experience or