Analysis of The Importance of Elsewhere

Philip Larkin 1922 (Coventry) – 1985 (Hull)

Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home,
Strangeness made sense. The salt rebuff of speech,
Insisting so on difference, made me welcome:
Once that was recognised, we were in touch.

Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint
Archaic smell of docklands, like a stable,
The herring-hawker's cry, dwindling, went
To prove me separate, not unworkable.

Living in England has no such excuse:
These are my customs and establishments
It would be much more serious to refuse.
Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence.

Poetic Form Quatrain  (33%)
Metre 10010011111 1011010111 010111001110 11111001 111111101 01011101010 010111001 1111010100 1001011101 1111000100 11111100101 111101010
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 507
Words 84
Sentences 5
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4
Lines Amount 12
Letters per line (avg) 34
Words per line (avg) 7
Letters per stanza (avg) 138
Words per stanza (avg) 28
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Submitted by RobertHaigh on June 11, 2020

Modified on April 25, 2023

25 sec read

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin was born in 1922 and grew up in Coventry, England. He earned his BA from St John's College, Oxford, and finished with First Class Honours in English. In 1955 he became Librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, a post he held until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. more…

All Philip Larkin poems | Philip Larkin Books

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