Not only does the story within the poem suggest a feeling of solitude and emptiness, Larkin also deliberately uses language and techniques to emphasise the theme he's going for. First of all, the title itself is of a person who's first name we do not know. It creates a sense that it is irrelevant and that 'Mr.
This was Mr Bleaney's room. He stayed The whole time he was at the Bodies, till They moved him.
Flowered curtains, thin and frayed, Fall to within five inches of the sill, Whose window shows a strip of building land? So it happens that I lie Where Mr Bleaney lay, and stub my fags On the same saucer-souvenir, and try Stuffing my ears with cotton-wool, to drown The jabbering set jabbering set he egged her on to buy.
I know his habits - what time he came down, His preference for sauce to gravy, why He kept on plugging at the four aways - Likewise their yearly frame: But if he stood and watched the frigid wind Tousling the clouds, lay on the fusty bed Telling himself that this was home, and grinned, And shivered, without shaking off the dread That how we live measures our own nature, And at his age having no more to show Than one hired box should make him pretty sure He warranted no better, I don't know.
As with many, it starts with a specific instance and finally moves to a more general point. As we read further, we find out more: Besides the dialogue, the poem also adopts a colloquial register: After the full stop at the end of the fifth stanza, there is a shift in tone from the persona, however.
In the final stanza, he reflects upon such existence. Perhaps, he at last realises the irony:‘This was Mr Bleaney’s room. He stayed The whole time he was at the Bodies, till They moved him.’ Flowered curtains, thin and frayed, Fall to within five inches of the sill. 'Mr Bleaney' is an intelligent poem that explores ideas of male identity, loneliness, simple modesty and false fantasies bringing them all into small yet equally complicated real world.
The above preview is unformatted text. Philip Larkin completed ‘Mr Bleaney’ in May , and it appeared nine years later in his third major volume of poems, The Whitsun Weddings (). The poem is about a professional man renting a room in a woman’s house, and musing on the life of the previous tenant, ‘Mr Bleaney’.
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