Philip Larkin

Rating: 5
Rating: 5

Philip Larkin Biography

Born in 1922 in Coventry, England. He attended St. John's College, Oxford.

His first book of poetry, The North Ship, was published in 1945 and, though not particularly strong on its own, is notable insofar as certain passages foreshadow the unique sensibility and maturity that characterizes his later work. In 1946, Larkin discovered the poetry of Thomas Hardy and became a great admirer of his poetry, learning from Hardy how to make the commonplace and often dreary details of his life the basis for extremely tough, unsparing, and memorable poems. With his second volume of poetry, The Less Deceived (1955), Larkin became the preeminent poet of his generation, and a leading voice of what came to be called 'The Movement', a group of young English writers who rejected the prevailing fashion ...

Philip Larkin Comments

Chris-ann Chikane 04 October 2012

I request your permission to include the attached extrac from poemhunter: Title: Night-Music by Philip Larkins.We want to use this and all subsequent editions of the above-referenced book, in all media of expression now known or later developed, and in all foreign language translations and other derivative works published or prepared by Mystar Education & Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd or its licensees, for distribution throughout the world, and also in versions made by non-profit organisations for use by blind or physically handicapped persons. Appropriate credit will be given on the imprint page of the book. If specific credit is required, please provide this. If the permission request relates to an image, please send us a high-resolution JPEG, TIFF or PDF of the image, since this will ensure the quality of the image during printing. Kind Regards Chris-Ann Chikane chrism@starschools.co.za

13 38 Reply
Marcus Clements 22 June 2012

I am probably making a very silly error....I am unable to select Phillip Larkin’s poems; can anyone help?

28 20 Reply
Tai Chi Italy 16 July 2011

Well it wasn't mum and dad who phucked this poets poems up! It was poemshuntered down and deleted. Philip! if you are up there, curse them for their bad taste. with a smile from Tai, from his neck of the midland woods

24 15 Reply
Charlotte Chadwick 06 August 2009

Hi-the word anaesthetic is misspelled: 'anasthetic' in the Larkin poem 'Aubade' on this site. Please correct! Cheers.

14 10 Reply
Chris Guidon 18 June 2009

Oblivion, Ill drink to oblivion. A rutting alchemist just like the rest, my potent breath warms their swollen breast's, the differentiation between truth and lies blurred, and my eloquent post modernist jive now slurred, ...so, dazed... i drift into the night, head filled with romance, seduced by the city lights. larkin taught me my moral views, nescient i, ever obtuse; subscribed to the school of self abuse. Now the smoky sweet taste of vomit brings dawn. I write on the walls, the words 'Vacant' and 'Forlorn.'

9 6 Reply
Peter Henderson 15 April 2018

Larkin is like Fritos: you can read a book of his poems but nobody can read just one. Such a tonic!

2 2 Reply
Paul Geiger 29 November 2014

New, impressive biography out by James Booth. Reviewed in WSJ,11/28/14. Maybe Dan Reynolds should read.

19 9 Reply
Dan Reynolds 23 September 2014

You show some promise, but the archaic language lets you down. Try to read some good contemporary poets and expand your thoughts without the restriction of form.

14 43 Reply
Cody Dickerson 30 April 2013

How come Larkin's poem, This Be the Verse, is not in the poem list?

55 24 Reply
Chris-ann Chikane 04 October 2012

I request your permission to include extract from Poemhunter: Night Music by Philip Larkin We will use subsequent editions of the above-referenced book, in all media of expression now known or later developed, and in all foreign language translations and other derivative works published or prepared by Mystar Education & Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd or its licensees, for distribution throughout the world, and also in versions made by non-profit organisations for use by blind or physically handicapped persons. Appropriate credit will be given on the imprint page of the book. If specific credit is required, please provide this. If the permission request relates to an image, please send us a high-resolution JPEG, TIFF or PDF of the image, since this will ensure the quality of the image during printing. Please contact me Kind Regards Chris-Ann Chikane +27 11 018-5007 chrism@starschools.co.za

15 46 Reply

The Best Poem Of Philip Larkin

Aubade

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

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Philip Larkin Quotes

11 November 2014

Above all, though, children are linked to adults by the simple fact that they are in process of turning into them. For this they may be forgiven much. Children are bound to be inferior to adults, or there is no incentive to grow up.

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