The Mower

Philip Larkin

The Mower

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found

A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,

Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.

Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world

Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.

The first day after a death, the new absence

Is always the same; we should be careful.

About Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin was an English poet who lived from 1922 to 1985. Known for always seeming a bit shy, Larkin always tried to steer away from the lime light, while still loving to create poetry. Commonly reffered to as "England's other Poet Laureate", Larkin was well known for his poems creating a feeling in which everyone could take "comfort or delight in". Larkin was also very keen on his usage of traditional poetry tools, such as rhymes, stanzas, and meters.

Interpretation of "The Mower"

One way the poem The Mower could have been interpreted is as a metaphor for how short uncertain and spontaneous life can be, and how life will is very much temporary so one should try to enjoy and be kind to one another while they still live. This specific interpretation of the poem can be mainly seen from the line "we should be kind While there is still time." This phrase from the poem alone captures what could be interpreted as The Mower's meaning.
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Impact on Others and an Additional View of "The Mower"

"Every time I read this poem, the words “killed” and “unmendably” hit me, exactly as Larkin intended. But perhaps what I love most about this poem is its concluding statement. Larkin, despite being cast as a melancholic chronicler on the vicissitudes of life was able to hit the heights of understated optimism and offer the occasional uplift to leaven his lugubriousness. Like the ending of “The Trees”, Larkin removes his ironical cloak and speaks with searing clarity. One of Larkin’s great gifts is for writing the appropriate phrase. The sentiment he expresses at the conclusion of “The Mower” is a worthy one to live up to, no matter how hard it might be to put into practice all of the time." This was an in depth thought and additional interpretation of The Mower by Alexis Dimyan.

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A few strong themes and feelings that remain present in this poem are the feelings of remorse and sorrow, which also leads to feelings of death and despair. However, as the poem progresses to the end, the feelings seem to change to more of a happiness and knowledge gained.
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