I should not be up at the moment, but after triumphantly finishing analyzing twelve pieces of modern poetry, I needed, or perhaps wanted, a reward. So I write.
All the pieces (save George Orwell's amazing essay entitled Politics and the English Language) were adamantly proclaiming that life has no meaning because it is cyclical: We are born, we live, and guess what? We die!
Frustrated after analyzing these pieces, I asked a very wise person what he thought.
"Well," said my Dad, "that's only true if you're an animal."
I smiled. He always puts things so simply, like Corrie ten Boom's father, carrying the heavy watch case. I am not an animal, and neither are any other human beings. Death is inevitable, but babies being born are not just another baby, despite any of Phillip Larkin's ideas.
I did laugh, however, when Larkin did and could not understand why people still believe in God. In "Church Going," he writes about how church does not satisfy any of his needs (of course it won't; one needs the personal relationship with Christ Himself.) A few lines later, Larkin imagines what would happen if going to church went "out of style," but he is dismayed when he realizes people going to church will never be out of style because humans have an innate need to worship something above them, whether it be literally above them or above them in authority.
All the doom-sayings each piece shouted actually made me glad. It made me glad because it helps me be even more thankful for the fact that even though I will die someday, I am owned by a higher authority I worship and have a wonderful relationship with.
God is our higher authority, and the modernistic pieces and ugly things in life should sober us (gladdening pieces of doom), but most of all make us more grateful for the love Christ has for his children.
Greenblatt, Stephen. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Print.