Study Guide

Church Going Calling Card

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Calling Card

Gotta Love that Larkin Tone

"Church Going" contains several features that have Philip Larkin written all over them. First, there's his witty, ironic way of approaching a very serious subject. There's also his conversational tone, which he uses in many poems and which gives us the sense that the speaker of Larkin's poems is very often Larkin himself. Despite the ironic tone and casual treatment of religion, Larkin shows a respectfulness in this poem that you might not get in something like "High Windows" (another Larkin poem—check it out). Also, Larkin's mixture of everyday speech and tight poetic forms is also something for which he is widely known.

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