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Posthumous LoveEros and the Afterlife in Renaissance England$
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Ramie Targoff

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226789590

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226110462.001.0001

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“An Arundel Tomb”

“An Arundel Tomb”

(p.211) Epilogue “An Arundel Tomb”
Posthumous Love

Ramie Targoff

University of Chicago Press

This epilogue considers the twentieth century poem “An Arundel Tomb” by Philip Larkin. Larkin’s reflections on the medieval tomb for the Earl of Arundel and his wife capture many of the poignancies, and ironies, raised both by the spousal tombs discussed in this book’s Introduction, and by the scores of poems addressing the fate of love after death examined in subsequent chapters. “An Arundel Tomb” asks us to ponder above all the relationship between the artifact that survives and the love that is long past. How much of that love is actually preserved? Was the love experienced at the time in a manner at all consonant with its posthumous representation? These are among the questions posed by Larkin, questions that resonate powerfully with the history of mortal poetics this book articulates.

Keywords:   Philip Larkin, “An Arundel Tomb“, posthumous love, mortal poetics, spousal tombs

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