Philip Larkin

(9 August 1922 – 2 December 1985 / West Midlands / England)

Philip Larkin Poems

If you see a poem only with title, it is listed that way because of copyright reasons.
41. Whatever Happened? 1/3/2003
42. On Being Twenty-Six 4/2/2010
43. Homage To A Government 1/3/2003
44. Wedding Wind 1/13/2003
45. Wants 1/3/2003
46. A Study Of Reading Habits 4/2/2010
47. Take One Home For The Kiddies 1/3/2003
48. The Explosion 1/3/2003
49. Sad Steps 1/3/2003
50. To Failure 1/3/2003
51. No Road 1/3/2003
52. The North Ship 1/3/2003
53. Why Did I Dream Of You Last Night? 1/3/2003
54. Mr Bleaney 1/13/2003
55. Sunny Prestatyn 1/3/2003
56. Wild Oats 1/3/2003
57. Love Songs In Age 1/3/2003
58. Toads Revisited 1/3/2003
59. Toads 1/3/2003
60. Love, We Must Part Now 1/3/2003
61. The Trees 1/3/2003
62. Arrival 4/2/2010
63. Letter To A Friend About Girls 4/2/2010
64. Best Society 4/2/2010
65. Autobiography At An Air-Station 4/2/2010
66. Continuing To Live 4/2/2010
67. Wires 1/3/2003
68. First Sight 4/2/2010
69. Is It For Now Or For Always 1/3/2003
70. Dublinesque 4/2/2010
71. Water 1/3/2003
72. Poetry Of Departures 1/3/2003
73. Going 1/3/2003
74. Essential Beauty 4/2/2010
75. Library Ode 1/3/2003
76. At Grass 4/2/2010
77. Cut Grass 4/2/2010
78. Annus Mirabilis 4/2/2010
79. Dockery And Son 4/2/2010
80. Ignorance 1/3/2003

Comments about Philip Larkin

  • Ron Price Ron Price (12/2/2009 11:38:00 PM)

    Poetry is like trying to remember a tune you've forgotten... A poem is written because the poet gets a sudden vision.....he juggles with sounds and associations which will best express the original vision. It is done quite intuitively, sometimes esoterically, sometimes with a very common touch. That is why the poet never thinks of the reader. The vision has something to do with sex. I don't know what it is; it's subtle, elusive, indefineable. It's not surprising, obviously two creative forces in alliance, closely connected.

    The result is a poetry of self-indulgence, the patter of the entertainer, fodder for future social historians from a poet who needs emotional isolation, from a poet who touches our hearts by showing his own, who reveals the paradoxes and enigmas of our lives by putting his own on the table, who provides, for me, perspectives on unity that emerge out of aloneness and solitude. -Ron Price with thanks to Andrew Swarbrick, Out of Reach: The Poetry of Philip Larkin, St. Martin 's Press, NY,1995, p.21.

    He pursues self-definition,
    the nature of identity,
    through separateness,
    exclusion and difference,
    negative self-definition,
    a voice of Englishness
    back in that ninth and
    early tenth stage of history1,
    after the loss of imperial power,
    diminished influence and, yes,
    a new value to English experience.

    A remorseful tone, secular
    but communal and telling,
    not untrue, not unkind and
    on the margins, exposed to
    the beyond, imprisoned in a
    personality, something hidden,
    something he has been given,
    reticence-English privacy ethic:
    where difference merges into
    absolute unity; where special
    uniqueness and loneliness are
    clarified as oneness, endless
    continuities and discontinuities.

    Ron Price

    1 1953-1963-ninth stage of history; 1963-1973-first ten years of the tenth stage of history. Larkin did not write 'many poems after 1973.'(ibid., p.164)

    16 person liked.
    15 person did not like.
  • Charlotte Chadwick (8/6/2009 5:22:00 AM)

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

  • Chris Guidon (6/18/2009 2:24:00 PM)

    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,, 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.'

  • Kim Doyle (5/24/2009 6:32:00 PM)

    Not to be Anywhere Forever

    Philip Larkin said in “Aubade”
    but we are always in the hearts
    of those who love us, though
    we are apart. That is the place
    we rest and are remembered.

    That which must not be spoken of,
    no not the name Macbeth by an actor,
    gives the zing to the smallest of things;
    the minutiae that makes up life.

    Without death there can be no life,
    no life without death. Interminably
    biting at each others’ tails.

    We all fail, in the end. Good Night,
    Good Morning, again.

  • p.a. noushad p.a. noushad (7/11/2008 4:49:00 AM)

    the poems nerrate the simple and complex side of life.

  • Tracker Ogryphon (2/21/2008 3:31:00 PM)

    A suprizing anthology of english writing. It is a bit above my understanding. But I enjoyed the story.

    Thank You.

Best Poem of Philip Larkin


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 ...

Read the full of Aubade

Mother, Summer, I

My mother, who hates thunder storms,
Holds up each summer day and shakes
It out suspiciously, lest swarms
Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there;
But when the August weather breaks
And rains begin, and brittle frost
Sharpens the bird-abandoned air,
Her worried summer look is lost,

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