Beyond all this, the wish to be alone :
However the sky grows dark with invitation - cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff —
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone .
Beneath it all , desire of oblivion runs :
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar ,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites ,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death —
Beneath it all , desire of oblivion runs .
I think Larkin relies on the weight of his line to
convey the nature of death , which he uses as a symbol
throughout his works. Death is unfathomably heavy , and
each of us is Atlas holding up the world . If only we could
look death in the face , we would not be doomed to this
partial understanding of the world .
I think Philip Larkin is saying . . .
despite all the typical rituals of every- day life ( invitations ,
family photographs ) - - all these things which seem the
\'norm \' in the ordinary days of one\'s life. . . beyond it all
there is still the wish to be alone . . .. and not to have all of
The wish for \" oblivion \" (forgetfulness, unconsciousness) ,
despite the everyday things that take place in one \'s life . ..
\'Life insurance \'.. .
Despite our vain attempts to prevent the inevitable process
of death .. .. Underneath it all there is still the desire for
oblivion ( unconsciousness).
For forgetting it all and just. .. \" sleeping \" .