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The Whitsun Weddings Summary & Analysis
by Philip Larkin

"The Whitsun Weddings" was written by British poet Philip Larkin and first published in his collection The Whitsun Weddings in 1963. The poem recounts the speaker's train journey from the east of England to London and his observations along the way. At first the speaker focuses on the view out of the window of the countryside and passing towns. Soon, though, his journey is interrupted by the loud commotion of numerous wedding parties; a number of young couples have gotten married on that weekend (because of the long bank holiday weekend and a tax break). As the speaker observes all these newlyweds, he reflects—rather ambivalently—on what it means to be in love and all the ceremony tied up with getting married. Soon enough, the train arrives in London and this "frail travelling coincidence" is over.

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