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.
81. For Sidney Bechet 1/3/2003
82. At Grass 4/2/2010
83. Ambulances 4/2/2010
84. Talking In Bed 1/3/2003
85. Days 4/2/2010
86. Deceptions 4/2/2010
87. The Whitsun Weddings 1/3/2003
88. Far Out 1/3/2003
89. An Arundel Tomb 4/2/2010
90. The Old Fools 1/3/2003
91. High Windows 1/3/2003
92. Faith Healing 1/3/2003
93. Church Going 4/2/2010
94. Aubade 4/2/2010

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

Library Ode

New eyes each year
Find old books here,
And new books,too,
Old eyes renew;
So youth and age
Like ink and page
In this house join,
Minting new coin.

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