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Philip Larkin (1922-1985) remains England's best-loved poet - a writer matchlessly capable of evoking his native land and of touching all readers from the most sophisticated intellectual to the proverbial common reader. The late John Betjeman observed that 'this tenderly observant poet writes clearly, rhythmically, and thoughtfully about what all of us can understand'. Behind this modest description lies a poet who made greatness look, in Milton's prescription, 'simple, sensuous and passionate'.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780571097104
ISBN-10: 0571097103
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 8mm)
Pages: 64
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 11-Sep-1975
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » Almost a decade ago Kingsley Amis pooh-poohed the idea of anyone wanting to read a philosophical poem; others with similarly jaunty malice scorned apoca-??yptic verse or continentalism or indeed any sort of emotional thunder. Thomas and Sitwell, for instance, were Out. Thus the Movement: a group of academic-administrative poets, products of the English Welfare State, anti-romantic, wryly wistful, empirical to a fault. Their master was and is Philip Larkin. His third collection, almost a blueprint, thematically and qualitatively, of his last (The Less Deceived), has a title-poem as splendid as "Church Going", has "An Arundel Tom" and "Ambulances" the equals of, respectively, "At Grass" and "Next, Please"; etc. etc. The only difference now is an occasional Audenesque banter, ambivalently used. A supple middle-range avoiding both the over-charged and over-mild, a queerly personal impersonal voice, cool candid lines so cleverly controlled- these make up the Larkin signature. And he can, like no one else, distill a strange ??laintive music on the slightest theme in the slightest way: "Home is so sad. It stays as it was left/Shaped to the comfort of the last to go/As if to win them back..." Larkin is the sophisticated provincial, the "singer" of an unfevered life, the poet presenting past loves, aging, even death quite as reasonably and rigorously "distant" as his observations on the domestic scene, the "kiddies clobber," the holiday, record favorites and reading habits. If Kipling was the chronicler of Imperialism, Larkin is that of Little England. In his country's unroaring poetic kennel, he is definitely top dog. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922 and was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry, and St John's College, Oxford. As well as his volumes of poems, which include The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, he wrote two novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter, and two books of collected journalism: All What Jazz: A Record Diary, and Required Writing: Miscellaneous Prose. He worked as a librarian at the University of Hull from 1955 until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and the WHSmith Award.

Books By Author Philip Larkin

Importance of Elsewhere by Philip Larkin

The Importance of Elsewhere

Paperback, February 2017
Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin

The Whitsun Weddings

Paperback, February 2016
North Ship by Philip Larkin

The North Ship

Paperback, April 2015
High Windows by Philip Larkin

High Windows

Paperback, April 2015