Philip Larkin An Arundel Tomb

A poem in which the poet explores the significance of the passage of time is An Arundel Tomb by Philip Larkin. Larkin uses techniques such as, imagery and word choice to achieve this. Immediately, the title of the poem makes the reader consider the importance of the theme of time.

An Arundel Tomb, when broken down to each single word the connotations are; ‘An’ portraying only one; ‘Arundel’ a town near Chichester in England where this tomb is actually present; and ‘Tomb’, the word tomb gives away the poem most because it makes you begin to think about how tombs are usually only for rich people and were mostly for people who were of some sort of royalty or importance and also the idea of death, people only go into the tomb after they have died.

The people who the tomb was made for was an earl and countess which kind of proves the point about people being rich to afford a tomb.

Similarly, the structure of the poem highlights Larkin’s concern with the passage of time, the poem is written in seven stanzas with an ABBCAC regular rhyme scheme. Each stanza is written in a neat way with every stanza having six lines.

The neat structure of the poem mimics the way the effigies are lying still, next to each other, “Side by side, their faces blurred” The impression I get from the regular structure of the poem is that art can withstand the erosion of time, which connects to the passage of time which is the overall theme of this particular poem.

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Larkin also uses similes and metaphors to illuminate the passage of time, he uses the idea of relationship.

Larkin also uses word choice and phrases such as “clasped” jointed” and “holding her hand” to bring the point across that these people did love each other however , the idea of the lack of clarity is also emphasised therefore relationships are not always clear. Lack of clarity appears quite often in the poem, the first line of the poem reads to outsiders “their faces blurred” and then in the second line the word “lie” is written, these two words together make you think about it in a little more detail, that there faces are blurred because they aren’t telling the truth.

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Philip Larkin An Arundel Tomb. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Philip Larkin An Arundel Tomb
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