A summary of a great Larkin poem
Written in August 1960, ‘Talking in Bed’ is one of Philip Larkin’s best-loved poems. It was published in his 1964 volume The Whitsun Weddings. Like many of his poems, ‘Talking in Bed’ takes a recognisable and relatable setting – two lovers lying in bed together – and then draws out from this small, specific scene in order to meditate on bigger, more existential questions. You can read ‘Talking in Bed’ here; what follows are some words by way of analysis.
In summary, ‘Talking in Bed’ does what so many of Larkin’s poems do: he takes a very simple, specific scene and then explores its wider meaning and how it tells us something about our lives, but the conclusion is less straightforward than the setting which prompted it.
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