Built out of obsessive clarifications & a desperate compulsion to reference, to provide support for, inverse presents the reader with an almost completely effaced speaker whose main concern is the attempt to know & communicate. Rather than residing in the self & structuring that self around & through the perceptions of a central consciousness, the poem(s) takes as its subject the very logic of knowing. When we read the phrase “between theories waking life” we’re forced to understand that this work is asking us to integrate our capacities for “logic” & “reason” in the Romantic sense – our abilities to think & feel.
Throughout, the provisional nature of knowledge is what seems to be under the most scrutiny; if the speaker has to go to such great lengths to accurately articulate anything, then is knowledge itself flawed. Is knowing something helpful or even necessary?
The name of this intersection is frost broken up
heavy spar reign heavy phrase ravishment
let us unfurl instead: weather
see also river
see also self and the less restricted sense
I’d have a hard time tracing what the speaker is getting at here, in the traditional sense, but if we give up on that, of ever knowing exactly what, then I think we’re closer to the point. Larkin’s project here seems to be the interrogation of knowledge, creating the sense that we can achieve a larger scale of perception both through intellect & outside of it. “Come,” the poem tells us:
[…] expound breath intelligible
come abound unfold in and about go